VIRGINIA TECH STATE university in the US has been locked down, with people told to stay indoors, after authorities were alerted to a possible gunman on the campus where a mass shooting took place four years ago.
The alert was sent out at 9.47am local time (2.47pm Irish time) with the person said to be near the Dietrick Dining Hall on the campus. A further alert was issued at 10.29am local time in which people on campus have been told to stay indoors until further notice.
Police say there have been no further sightings of the alleged armed man, but have released a photofit image based on the initial reported sighting.
At an earlier press conference, local law enforcement said that officers have searched the campus but no further sightings, anything suspicious or any more information regarding this person has so far emerged.
The alert is still in effect with people told to remain indoors as officers continue to search the campus appealing for anyone with any information to contact them.
The campus was the scene of a grim shooting in 2007 when Seung-Hui Cho opened fire on students and staff, killing 33 people on the Blacksburg campus.
A university official told a press conference that Virginia Tech was “in a new era” of responding to such incidents as today’s.
Today’s gunman was sighted by three juveniles attending a summer camp at the university.
An news update on the VT website says the juveniles reported the weapon was covered by a cloth or covering of some sort. The person was walking fast in the direction of the volleyball courts.
He was said to be wearing a blue and white vertically-striped shirt, grey shorts and brown sandals. The subject had no facial hair or glasses.
Police are continuing to search the area.
Additional reporting by Gavan Reilly