Reporting by Libby Sander; graphic by Ron Coddington

On the afternoon of Thursday, December 8, 2011, at Virginia Tech, gunshots pierced the calm of the campus, recalling the massacre in 2007 that left 33 people dead. University officials, still defending themselves against accusations that their reaction that day was flawed, responded swiftly and efficiently, deploying a high-tech response system, established in the last four years.

 

Postscript: At 6:11 p.m., the policy group was dismissed. Mr. Steger and Mr. Wilson met with campus police officers to offer their condolences; Mr. Crouse was formally identified shortly after 9 p.m. The next day, police identified the gunman as Ross Truett Ashley, 22, a student at nearby Radford University, and said that he had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Virginia Tech held a candlelight vigil and funeral for Mr. Crouse and set up a memorial fund to support his family.