The Virginia Tech Massacre: One Year Ago Today
by Kevin Caruso
April 16, 2006
We lost 32 amazing and very special people in the Virginia Tech Massacre on April 16, 2007.
The tragedy began when we lost students Emily Hilsher and Ryan Clark – the evil gunman murdered them at about 7:15 a.m. in West Ambler Johnston Hall.
Two hours later, the horrible tragedy continued when the cowardly murderer entered Norris Hall; he went into classroom after classroom and indiscriminately shot everyone in sight. He killed 30 people and wounded 29 in Norris Hall.
Erin Sheehan was a student in one of the classrooms at Norris Hall. She witnessed some of her friends being murdered.
“It seemed so strange,” she said. “Because he peeked in twice, earlier in the lesson, like he was looking for someone, somebody, before he started shooting. But then we all heard something like drilling in the walls, and someone thought they sounded like bullets. That's when we blockaded the door to stop anyone from coming in…we forced ourselves against the door so he couldn't come in again, because the door would not lock.
“He seemed very thorough about it, getting almost everyone down. I was trying to act dead. He left for about 30 seconds, came back in, did almost exactly the same thing.
“He was just a normal looking kid, Asian, but he had on a Boy Scout type outfit. He wore a tan button up vest, and this black vest, maybe it was for ammo or something.
“I saw bullets hit people's body. There was blood everywhere. People in the class were passed out; I don't know maybe from shock from the pain. But I was one of only four that made it out of that classroom. The rest were dead or injured.”
We lost 32 people that day...32 people who are now among the greatest angels in Heaven.
Let me tell you a little about some of them.
Liviu Librescu was teaching his students in Room 204 when gunfire began to echo in Norris Hall. This type of danger was not new to him – he survived the Holocaust and did not fear death, at all. So without hesitation he ran to the door and held it shut as he told his students to flee.
The evil gunman quickly approached and began firing his handguns, hitting Liviu with five bullets. Liviu was able to slow the gunman down considerably, and by the time the cowardly gunman entered the classroom, most of the students had escaped.
And although two of the students sustained injuries, all of them survived.
Sadly, Liviu did not.
Liviu Librescu was a 76-year-old internationally renowned professor, he is now an internationally renowned hero.
Ryan Clark, 22, was a brilliant student who had an impeccable 4.0 GPA.
He was a resident assistant at West Ambler Johnston Hall. It is believed that Ryan ran to help after he heard gunfire, and was shot and killed when he confronted the gunman.
Ryan is a hero.
Matthew La Porte, 20, was attending Virginia Tech on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and was a member of the school’s Corps of Cadets.
Matthew’s dream was to serve our country in the Air Force, and he started his preparation for that honorable aspiration in high school when he attended a military institute. And at Virginia Tech, his commitment to his dream remained strong and he was awarded the Emerging Leader Scholarship from the Corps of Cadets. There was no question that he had what it took to be a top military leader. “He had mental toughness,” said Jonathan Kaczanowski, a friend.
Matthew is a hero.
Mary Read, 19, was “one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever known,” said Malisa Savanh, a friend. “There’s no bad anybody could ever say about her.”
“Mary is one of the most amazing people I have ever met,” said Blair Bullock. “She was such a caring and happy person, always laughing and smiling. She never spoke a bad word about anyone; she was a sister and friend to everyone.”
Mary is a hero.
Please say a prayer for everyone we lost that day, all those who were injured, all of the family members who were affected, and the students and faculty of Virginia Tech.
And please take a moment to visit VirginiaTechMassacre.com, a very important Suicide.org website:
Virginia Tech Massacre.com
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.
I love you.