Tragedy at VT, Killing spree leaves 33 dead
SF State to take notes for future emergency plan
April 18, 2007 6:39 PM
The worst shooting in modern U.S. history took place over the course of several hours Monday morning on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va. The current number of fatalities is 33, including the gunman. The suspected gunman who carried out the bloodbath was 23-year-old Virginia Tech Senior Cho Seung-Hui, an English major.
Comparisons have already been made to the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, and the clock tower sniper at the University of Texas in 1966. Students and residents of Blacksburg must now deal with an act of unspeakable random violence.
Regina Radan is a graduate student at SF State, who got her undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech.
"I am in shock at the events that occurred at Virginia Tech today,” said Radan in an e-mail. “I always considered Virginia Tech to be such a quiet and safe campus."
Ashley Brooks is a 19-year-old student at Virginia Tech who was contacted via Myspace.com by [X]press. Brooks said she knew one of the two students who was shot and injured early in the morning at West Ambler Johnston Hall. “He was unaccounted for . . . for a long time.”
Brooks said she’s got most of her information from e-mails from campus officials, and by instant messages from friends.
“The whole fourth floor was shut down,” Brooks said. “The police told everyone to lock their doors and stay away from the windows. A friend of mine was on the floor with her laptop IM-ing me.”
Brooks also described Blacksburg as small, quiet and safe, and the day as one of complete chaos. Brooks said she heard sirens all morning, and said it was impossible to get near campus.
“At a certain distance, the campus police tell you to turn around,” she said.
Brooks said this year at Virginia Tech has been bizarre.
”On the first day of classes this fall, we had an escaped convict loose near campus who killed several police officers, and that shut down campus,” Brooks said. “We’ve also had two bomb threats this month, but everyone assumed that they were just students who didn’t want to take exams or something.”
Brooks worries about the long term reputation of Virginia Tech.
“This kind of puts a bad name to the school,” Brooks said. “I don’t want people to think this is a bad school, contrary to what’s happened."
You can view coverage by the Virginia Tech student press service at:
You can view Virginia Tech Freshman Bryan Carter's personal blog accounting events of the day with a list of victims he compiled at:
Marin Perez and Ian Thomas contributed to this story.
You can also experience more multimedia.
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