Authorities at Virginia Tech, the scene in 2007 of a shooting massacre that left 33 people dead, on Thursday afternoon cancelled the alert they had declared after two people were shot to death on campus.

According to the Virginia state police, about midday a man shot and killed member of the campus police and shortly thereafter another person's lifeless body was found in a nearby parking area.

Police have not said whether the second body is that of the attacker and they are continuing their investigation, but at a press conference later in the day they did not rule out that possibility and the university said that a weapon had been found near that body.

At 4:30 p.m. the university announced that there was no longer any threat to students and other people who had sequestered themselves in campus buildings and they lifted the alert.

The initial confusion on campus forced authorities to block off access to the campus and the university administration recommended that the 18,000 students who were on campus at the time remain inside with the doors locked.

The administration has been keeping students informed using screens in the lecture halls, mobile telephone messages and on the Virginia Tech Web site, an improvement implemented after the 2007 massacre.

Coincidentally, the university presented its appeal Thursday to a $55,000 fine imposed by the U.S. Department of Education because it did not give timely warnings to students and others in 2007.