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Neil MacInnis is a student at New River Community College and Christiansburg High School alum.
TODD JACKSON | The Roanoke Times
Authorities subdue a handcuffed man on the back of a sheriff’s car outside New River Valley Mall. Two people were injured Friday afternoon when shots were fired in the New River Community College portion of the mall. Police were still trying to determine whether the victims had any connection to the suspect.
MICHAEL STOWE | The Roanoke Times
Police converged on New River Valley Mall after a report of shots fired inside the mall Friday.
TODD JACKSON | The Roanoke Times
Police evacuate the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg after responding to a call of shots fired Friday afternoon.
DANIEL LIN | Special to The Roanoke Times
A Virginia Tech police officer patrols outside the New River Valley Community College entrance of New River Valley Mall.
Friday, April 12, 2013
The suspect in Friday's shooting at the New River Community College satellite campus may have detailed his plans on an online message board moments before walking into the New River Valley Mall.
Police said in a news conference Friday night that 18-year-old Christiansburg resident Neil Allan MacInnis was arrested and charged in the shootings of two women at the college's campus inside the mall Friday.
Crews were called to the mall minutes after a user identifying himself as MacInnis posted a message on the Internet board 4chan.org implying that he was about to fire a shotgun inside the mall. The user posted a picture of the New River Valley Mall entrance near New River Community College on the board at 1:52 p.m., saying "It's time," along with a link to the local police scanner feed.
Police received a call at 1:55 p.m. in regard to shots fired in the NRCC branch near the food court of the mall. In the news conference, Christiansburg police Chief Mark Sisson said MacInnis shot two women before being subdued at 2 p.m. by an off-duty security guard and Christiansburg police officers. The two wounded were rushed to local hospitals while MacInnis was taken into custody.
Sisson said there are no other suspects at this time.
A user who saw the message board post sent The Roanoke Times a tip about the thread after the shooting. The post said MacInnis attends NRCC before claiming he was going to give the board members the details. He wrote "Stevens 320 shotgun. Buck shots and slugs."
The Stevens 320 gun line includes a variety of models, but all are 12-gauge, pump-action shotguns, according to Americanrifleman.org.
He said in the post he had only used a shotgun a few times, and he said it was with the Christiansburg Police Department. The department holds occasional citizens police academy courses . The 12-week program includes a session that allows people to practice shooting firearms under police supervision. MacInnis attended one of the courses in 2012, Sisson said during the news conference.
In the post, the user included a cryptic sentence about his possible motive.
"Anyways this is not a highscores game but actually a lesson (that's why I'm at school)," the post said.
Sisson said investigators did not have any information to release about motives, but confirmed MacInnis is a student at NRCC.
The post also linked to MacInnis' ePortfolio at NRCC: www.nrccstudents.org/macinnisn.
Users on the board noticed reports of shots fired at the mall and began commenting.
According to MacInnis' online profiles on the portfolio and at LinkedIn, he worked at the Old Navy store in the mall. The portfolio page said he was pursuing a degree in computer graphics and Web design. His resume, posted on the portfolio page, said he spent the summer of 2012 working in Virginia Tech's Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Sisson said MacInnis is charged with two counts of malicious wounding and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is being held in the Montgomery County Jail.
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