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2 shot, suspect held at Virginia mall branch of community college

April 12, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • A police officer stands guard next to people on a curb outside the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg, Va., on Friday. Officials said two women were shot at the community college section of the mall and that a suspect is in custody.
A police officer stands guard next to people on a curb outside the New River… (Daniel Lin / Associated…)

A suspect has been taken into custody after a shooting at a community college office in a Virginia shopping mall where two women were wounded, officials said Friday.

The first reports of the shooting came in to officials at 1:55 p.m., police said at a televised news conference, and authorities responded within moments to the New River Community College satellite office in the mall just south of Blacksburg, Va., home to Virginia Tech, police said.

One woman was airlifted to a hospital and the other was taken for treatment by ambulance, police said. Neither was identified nor were their conditions immediately available.

Police searched New River Valley Mall and said it was believed that the gunman acted alone. The shooter was not identified nor was any motive immediately available, they said.

The mall is located in Christiansburg, a city of about 21,000.

The community college has an enrollment of about 1,500.

Student Josh Brown said he was working on a computer near the classrooms when the shots were fired.

“I heard one gunshot, and I didn't know what it was.... I saw people running out,” he told the Roanoke Times.

Brown then got up and ran out himself.

“I'll be scared to come back to school,” he told the newspaper as he started to cry. “What's wrong with people? Who would do something like this?”

In April 2007, Virginia Tech was the scene of one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history when Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at the school, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 before killing himself.

Officials at Friday's news conference said they did not believe there was any further danger at the scene.

Montgomery County schools were briefly locked down as a precaution, police said.

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