At 9:09 a.m. this morning, three children attending a summer camp at Virginia Tech reported seeing a gunman near the campus' main dining hall, Dietrick.

Virginia Tech sent out an alert at 9:37 a.m. after the juveniles reported seeing the man with a handgun "covered by a cloth or covering of some sort," the university said in a statement.

Around 1:00 p.m., police released a composite sketch of the man the three juveniles claim to have seen, possibly with a gun, near Dietrick Dining Hall.

Police are searching for a man who fits this description:


A composite sketch of the alleged Virginia Tech Gunman.

-White male

-6-foot tall

-Light brown hair

-Wearing a blue and white striped shirt

-Gray shorts

-Brown sandals

-No facial hair or glasses

Police are still searching the campus, but no other sightings have been reported.

Also, Tech Police ask if you believe that you are the person in the sketch, and that your activity was mistaken, please contact VT Police at (540) 231-6411.

Activity at the school, which is currently being used to house dozens of academic and sports camps for children over the summer vacation, ground to a halt after the lockdown.

Virginia Tech canceled classes for remainder of the day. Students are asked not to come to campus.

Virginia Tech was the site of the 2007 massacre and was criticized for not reacting quickly enough when gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on campus that year.

They responded much quicker this time.

"This hits too close to home," managing editor of the campus newspaper Kelsey Heiter told CNN. "But we have a better alert system now. And I have not heard of anybody getting hurt."

"We're in a new era. Obviously this campus experienced something pretty terrible four years ago ... regardless of what your intuition and your experience as a public safety officers tells you, you are really forced to issue an alert, and that's where we believe we are right now," said Larry Hincker, the Virginia Tech spokesman.

Law enforcement officers from VTPD, Blacksburg PD, Christiansburg PD, Virginia State Police, and Montgomery County Sheriff's Office are patrolling the campus, continuing to look for the subject.

Virginia Tech leaders expected to hold next news conference at 1:30 p.m.

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