In a case of direct relevance to the legal duty of churches to employ security guards, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the Commonwealth of Virginia was not legally responsible for the murder of 32 students by an armed assailant on campus property because the massacre was not reasonably foreseeable. At approximately 7:30 a.m. on April 16, 2007, the Virginia Tech University Police Department received a call that an "incident" had occurred in a dormitory. The specifics of what happened were unknown. When officers arrived, they found two gunshot victims, a male and a female. Although officers from the university police department were the first on the scene, the municipal police department led the investigation.
During the investigation, police came to believe that they were investigating an isolated incident that posed no danger to others and that the shooter had fled the area. They did not believe that a campus lockdown was necessary.