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University lockdown lifted; gunman still sought

  • Story Highlights
  • A man was shot and killed near Radford University in Virginia
  • Police continue to search for gunman
  • University lifts its lockdown; police say campus is safe
  • Students had locked their doors and were told to stay inside
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(CNN) -- A six-hour lockdown prompted by a fatal shooting near a Virginia campus was lifted as police continued a search for the gunman.

Students at Radford University southwest of Roanoke were told to lock their doors and stay inside early Friday, after a man was fatally shot in the chest in a residential area a couple of blocks away.

The shooting occurred about 9 p.m. Thursday, according to university spokesman Michael Hemphill.

After the shooting, a manhunt spilled onto the university campus as authorities believed the gunman had fled to the school.

In a series of phone calls, e-mails and text messages, students were being warned that the university was on lockdown.

Police searched buildings on the sprawling campus of 7,500 students for the gunman, but at 3 a.m. students received a message stating the lockdown had been lifted and the campus was safe.

"It appears the off-campus incident was not a random act of violence," the message said.

A university statement added, "The campus is secure and Radford University will now return to normal operations."

A spokesman for Radford University police told CNN that the shooter had not been captured and that investigators believed that neither the victim nor the gunman were students.

He would not explain why police believed the campus was safe.

Radford Police Chief Don Goodman told the Roanoke Times that the gunman was a tall and slim male, may have a goatee, and was wearing no shirt and a camouflage jacket.

City, state and campus police were searching for the shooter, Hemphill said. Virginia Tech University police were also helping in the search because Virginia Tech is about 20 minutes away from the shooting, according to the spokesman.

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