Virginia Tech officials ordered students and staff to stay inside and lock their doors this morning after receiving reports of a man possibly carrying a gun on the campus. Three youths attending a summer camp reported seeing a man holding a what appeared to be a handgun covered by a cloth and walking quickly near Dietrick Hall, according to a report on the university’s Web site. Police officers have searched the area but haven’t found anyone matching the description, the campus police chief, Wendell Flinchum, said during a news conference. Safety concerns have been heightened on the Blacksburg, Va., campus since a gunman killed 32 people and himself in April 2007.
[Update: The university announced at 2:41 p.m. that it had lifted the alert, but classes remained canceled. Police officials were maintaining a large presence on the campus, and people were advised to remain vigilant.]