RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Tech has paid federal fines totaling $32,500 for failing to issue a timely alert when a gunman began his killing rampage on campus seven years ago today, leaving 33 people dead.
The U.S. Department of Education said Tech has paid fines for two violations of the Clery Act, which requires universities to issue timely warnings of campus threats.
In paying the fine, the university decided against appealing the findings “to close this chapter on the tragedy of April 16, 2007,” a spokesman wrote in an e-mail.
The Education Department fines stem from the university’s actions on the morning of the shootings, when student gunman Seung-Hui Cho shot two people at a dormitory. One died at the scene, the other hours later.
Police investigating the first shootings of a man and a woman concluded that they were likely domestic in nature and that the gunman who remained at large did not pose a threat to the wider Blacksburg campus. University officials said they didn’t alert the campus that a gunman was on the loose because of that guidance.
Hours later, Tech officials issued a specific, campuswide warning that a “gunman is loose on campus.” By then, Cho had chained the doors of a classroom building and killed 30 students and faculty members. He then killed himself.