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At Least 33 Killed in Deadly Shooting at US University

  • Peter Fedynsky
  • Paula Wolfson

A blustery spring morning turned into a living nightmare at Virginia Tech.

A student reporter with a cell phone recorded scenes of police approaching one of the buildings on the campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg where the shootings occurred. The events unfolded in the morning over two hours in two separate locations. University President Charles Steger says only one gunman seems to have been involved.

"The shooter in Norris Hall is deceased. There are multiple fatalities. The number of fatalities has not been confirmed."

Steger says Virginia Tech University was hit with a tragedy of monumental proportions.

"The university is shocked and indeed horrified that this would befall us and I want to extend my deepest and most sincere and profound sympathies to the families of these victims, which include our students."

President Bush says "Our nation is shocked and saddened by the news of the shooting at Virginia Tech today."

He gave a voice to the thoughts of the American people.

"Today, our nation grieves with those who lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. We hold the victims in our hearts, we lift them up in our prayers, and we ask a loving God to comfort those who are suffering today."

Across Washington, in the halls of Congress, political foes joined in a moment of silence for the dead - first in the Senate and then in the House.

The federal government has offered to help Virginia with its investigation of the tragedy. Officials at Virginia Tech - which is state-owned and run - have defended their handling of the crisis. Students have complained the school was slow to get out information about the first shooting and that a general warning might have prevented further loss of life.

Virginia Tech President Charles Steger says the university will hold convocation on Tuesday to commemorate victims of the tragedy in Blacksburg.

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