Virginia Tech fined $55,000 over 2007 shooting

Officers rush to the crime scene after a gunman shot dozens of people at Viriginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

The U.S. government has fined Virginia Tech University $55,000 for not promptly warning students of a shooter on the loose at the start of the 2007 massacre that occured on campus, killing 32 people. A December 2010 report says that the school did not notify students as soon as possible, which is required by the Clercy Act, after a shooting that left 2 students dead at West Ambler Johnston residence hall on the morning of April 16, 2007. The shooter, identified as 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui returned to the same hall more than two hours later and killed 30 more people before pulling the trigger on himself. The Clercy Act was established in 1990 after 19-year-old Jeanne Ann Clery was raped and murdered while asleep in her dorn at Lehigh University. The law requires all universities to disclose information about crimes on or near their campuses, however the $55,000 for two violations of the act is the maximum allowed, says Federal officials. “Because Virginia Tech failed to notify its students and staff of the initial shootings on a timely basis, thousands continued to travel on campus, without warning,” the education department wrote in a letter announcing the fine. “Had an appropriate timely warning been sent earlier to the campus community, more individuals could have acted on the information and made decisions about their own safety.” According to officials, the school waited two hours and fifteen minutes before issuing a vague warning about the shooting, after students had already left for morning classes, meaning there were a number of students still on campus before Cho began his second rampage. It has been reported that Virginia Tech will repeal.


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