NEWS

Another Murder at Virginia Tech; Mass Notification System Successful

By Matthew Harwood

Nearly two years after the massacre at Virginia Tech, another violent tragedy has struck the Blacksburg, Virginia, campus.

Around 7 p.m. last night, a Chinese graduate student, believed to be 25-year-old Haiyang Zhu, stabbed to death a female graduate student in the Graduate Center's café on the outskirts of the campus. Police will not release the victim's name until they reach her family abroad.

Police believe the female graduate student knew her attacker, reports the Associated Press.

Word of the attack triggered the university's mass notification system. At about 7:45 p.m., the system sent 40,000 text and e-mail messages to alert students, faculty, and even parents of the attack, according to News Channel 8. The text and e-mail message blast took about 15 minutes to reach every name in its database and told students to stay in place. About an hour later, another message informed students the incident was over.

"Our hearts go out to the victim and her family," wrote the university's president, Charles W. Steger, in a letter to the campus community. "An act of violence like this one brings back memories of the April 16 tragedy and I have no doubt that many of us feel especially distraught."

On that day, Seung Hui Cho, a disturbed Virginia Tech student, murdered 32 people before ending his own life.

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