Bad Tip Led Police Off Shooter's Trail

Cops sought first victim's boyfriend after tip that he owned guns
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2007 6:45 AM CDT
Bad Tip Led Police Off Shooter's Trail
President Bush, left, greets a mourner after a convocation to honor the victims of a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., Tuesday, April 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)    (Associated Press)

A false lead in the first two shootings at Virginia Tech led to the critical two-hour delay in warning students that there was a gunman on campus, the Times reports.  After Emily Jane Hilscher was shot in her dorm, her roommate told police that her boyfriend, a student at a nearby college,  had guns at his townhouse.

Cops located the boyfriend, Karl D. Thornhill, and were questioning him when reports of the shooting at Norris Halll came in. State officials continued yesterday to defend the response by campus authorities, saying they “made the right decisions based on the best information that they had available at the time.” The governor will appoint a committee to investigate. (More Virginia Tech stories.)

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