Virginia Tech issued six safety alerts to the campus community in the wake of Thursday's shootings, the first minutes after the incident began, officials said.
Tech President Charles Steger, who was out of town preparing for a meeting on the budget, said he learned of the incident within minutes. So did the campus, he said, because Tech activated an emergency communication system installed after the 2007 campus shootings. An estimated 20,000 people were on campus Thursday, a day on which classes weren't scheduled so the community could prepare for exams.
"Our command and control structure worked extremely well," Steger said.
Andrea Luther, a senior, confirmed she received the VT Alerts message. She waited in the safety of Squires Student Center.
"The alerts work very quickly," she said.