Retired Virginia State Police Superintendent weighs in

Colonel Gerald Massengill
Colonel Gerald Massengill

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, VA (WWBT) - Colonel Gerald Massengill, a retired Virginia State Police superintendent who played a vital role in the investigation of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, is weighing in on the latest shooting.

Watching the images of heavily armed officers scouring the campus of Virginia Tech again, four years later, is hard to take for Massengill.

In 2007, Massengill led a panel charged with investigating various aspects of the April 16th Virginia Tech massacre.

"It's a sad day for Virginia, a sad day for Virginia Tech, and particularly a sad day for law enforcement in Virginia," said Massengill.

He may be retired, but through his 2007 investigation, Colonel Massengill knows exactly how big a task these armed officers took up when looking for the shooter.

"You got a campus of 2600 acres... you've got 26,000 students plus, you've got 130 plus buildings... you've got over 16 vehicle entrances, so to lock that campus down and secure that campus where you know who's coming in and coming out... and have a strong enough police on campus to secure a deterrence, but posture yourself to respond quickly for anything that can happen is quite a challenge," he said.

Massengill says, in 2007, his investigative panel helped prompt substantial changes in state and school policy.

"One of the first recommendations made by the panel was when these tragedies occur, to put out a very strong very clear alert and message to the public and to the campus community and that was done today, and I think that's very helpful," he said.

Massengill says back in 2007, that alert went out too late.

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