Text of Emails Used to Warn Students of Virginia Tech Shootings

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  • Text of Emails Used to Warn Students of Virginia Tech Shootings


Email was the technology of choice chosen by the Virginia Tech administration to alert students to the gunman, still on the loose, during yesterday’s bloodbath at Virginia Tech.

Here is the text of the emails that were sent to approximately 36,000 students and staff, starting at about two hours after the initial shooting of two students in a dormitory hall:

9:26 am

A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating.

The university community is urged to be cautious and are asked to contact Virginia Tech Police if you observe anything suspicious or with information on the case. Contact Virginia Tech Police.


Stay attuned to the www.vt.edu. We will post as soon as we have more information.

9:50 am

A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows.

(Article continues below)
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Text of Emails Used to Warn Students of Virginia Tech Shootings

10:16 am

Virginia Tech has canceled all classes. Those on campus are asked to remain where there (sic) are, lock their doors and stay away from windows. Persons off campus are asked not to come to campus.

10:52 am

In addition to an earlier shooting today in West Ambler Johnston, there has been a multiple shooting with multiple victims in Norris Hall.

Police and EMS are on the scene.

Police have one shooter in custody and as part of routine police procedure, they continue to search for a second shooter.

All people in university buildings are required to stay inside until further notice.

All entrances to campus are closed.


Do you think this was the right way to warn students? What about students who didn’t check their email? Let us know what you think.

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Text of Emails Used to Warn Students of Virginia Tech Shootings

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  • Text of Emails Used to Warn Students of Virginia Tech Shootings

10 thoughts on “Text of Emails Used to Warn Students of Virginia Tech Shootings

  1. The university should have notified everyone via email immediately after the first incident at 7:15AM. History of other mass shootings should hav warned them to notifiy students in other parts of campus that a second attack could occur. There’s campus police right? Give each of them a bullhorn and start sqwaking at various locations on campus. Residence halls could have locked the doors to the buildings…no one in or out…janitors at the classroom buildings same thing. If a shooter cant get in the building and people are warned…they probabaly wont get shot. The bottom line is we have a history in the country of mass shootings at schools. Anytime such an event occurs…there’s no need to wait for the second round…there’s an old addage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  2. Some small towns and tornado-prone areas still have a REALLY loud siren, like the kind that warned of air-raids during World War II, installed in a central location. Campuses can easily and cheaply strategically locate a few and use for a campus-wide alarm. Duh!

    A simple code would suffice. For example, a long wail would mean “shooter loose:everyone go into a place where you can barricade” and then you just need an “all clear” signal.

  3. I agree with Sparky – freedoms are slowly but surely being taken away. The media, I’m sure, will have a field day with what “should have been done.” However, all these people are still dead and wounded…

  4. Folks just don’t all have WAP cellphones, turned on, ready.
    What was wrong with sounding a General Warning via the Public Address system (I Presume the College has one)
    The truck with a bull-horn idea (refer Hal comment above) is a good one, but that truck would need to be an armoured vehicle.
    Unfortunately this tragedy will be used by “The Authorities” to take further freedoms away from the common man.

  5. Awful easy to find fault after the fact. Unfortunately, none of the critics were on the scene at the beginning of this tragedy.

  6. Say for example one person in a hundred gets that email on their PDA or smartphone – Word will spread fast enough.

  7. I say they did the best they could. How else could they have handled it with so many buildings and students coming and going? Phone calls?

  8. Email is one way, and I think it should have been used. However, the administration should have used *all* means of broadcasting info to those affected, even if that means a truck with a bullhorn.I don’t think they used all means available to warn the students and faculty.

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