Virginia Tech Found Negligent in 2007 Rampage
School waited too long to send out warnings, says jury
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2012 3:44 PM CDT
Mourners comfort each other as they leave a funeral for Virginia Tech shooting victim Austin Cloyd, at the Blacksburg Baptist Church in Blacksburg, Va., Saturday, April 21, 2007.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Virginia Tech was found legally negligent by a jury today in a lawsuit stemming from the 2007 school shooting that killed 33 people. The issue at stake was whether the university improperly delayed sending out warnings after the first two murders were discovered in a dorm, reports AP. Campus police waited two and a half hours before sending out an all-school warning that a "shooting incident" had occurred," notes the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Campus officials defended themselves by saying that they assumed the initial killings were isolated and that they could not possibly have foreseen the rampage. Police initially were looking for a boyfriend of one of the dorm victims. The lawsuits were brought by the parents of two of the slain students, and jurors awarded each family $4 million. That amount might get reduced to $100,000 each, the maximum amount allowed under state law. Jurors were apparently unaware of the cap.