The failure to warn the Virginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007 following the double homicide at West Ambler Johnston Hall hangs like a cloud of shame over Virginia Tech and haunts the victims’ families.
Now, details have come to light indicating that Virginia Tech Police Wendell Flinchum may have committed perjury.
The chief testified on March12, 2012, in the lawsuit brought against the school by the Pryde and Peterson families, that he did not recall having any discussion with the school president about warning the campus.
When asked, ”You had no discussion with him about whether or not the campus should be warned?” Flinchum replied, “Not that I recall.”
When asked, “He didn’t ask you for your advice or if the campus should be warned?” The chief responded, “If he did, I don’t remember.”
Two different note takers at the meeting tell a different story. Lisa Wilkes wrote, “… (a) lockdown is not necessary.” Kim O’Rourke wrote, “…(the) police don’t believe a lockdown is necessary at this time.”
An expert witnesses for the defense identified Chief Flinchum as “the on-the-scene commander” and the person giving the group the “on-going communications” about the crime. Flinchum was, then, the one who said a lockdown was not necessary.
Under oath, Flinchum admitted there was no “person of interest” at 7:30 am, one of the reasons the school gave for not warning. The chief confirmed there was “no person of interest” until sometime around 8:30 am. Therefore, an hour into the crime and only a select few knew that a killer was on the loose and could be on the campus.
At a press conference some 12 hours after the shootings, Tech President Steger gave the 7:30 am time as part of the excuse for not warning. Chief Flinchum was there and said nothing.