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Gunman Shoots 2 at Virginia Community College

  • VOA News

A gunman has terrorized a Virginia community college branch, shooting two people just minutes away from the university where the nation's deadliest school shooting left 33 dead six years ago.

Authorities say the suspected gunman is in custody after wounding two women at a New River Community College branch campus in a shopping mall in Christiansburg, Virginia. The victims' conditions and identities are unknown at this time.

The mall is about 10 kilometers from Virginia Tech University, where gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people before taking his own life in April 2007.

Earlier Friday, authorities locked down North Carolina A&T State University after reports of a man was seen with a rifle on the Greensboro school's grounds. The lockdown was later lifted at the university, which boasts more than 10,000 students. No shots were fired and no one was hurt.

The events come a day after the U.S. Senate voted to move forward the debate on a gun-control bill that has become one of the most controversial and emotional pieces of legislation this year.

A compromise between two pro-gun senators, Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey, over expanding background checks for gun buyers opened the door for the debate to begin. The compromise would require checks at gun shows and on the Internet, but would exclude sales between friends and family members.

President Barack Obama has pushed for stronger gun-control laws since last December's massacre of 26 children and teachers at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.