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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Shooting

Natural death sneaks up on all of us soon enough. But for thirty+ people in Virginia yesterday, death came much sooner than expected. We don’t know a lot about the gunman yet—so far, all we know is that he’s in his 20’s, he was of Asian descent, and he was one of the students at Virginia Tech. But the damage he left behind will be felt for decades as families and friends are forced to move on without their loved ones.

Listening to the eye-witness accounts was agonizing. Some said they saw people jumping out of second and third story windows in an attempt to try to avoid the gunman.

Trey Perkins, a Virginia Tech student who was interviewed on MSNBC, said the gunman came into his classroom and shot his teacher. And they he started firing at the students. The gunman eventually left the room, but then he tried to come back. Students blocked the door and he eventually gave up and moved on. Perkins said that he kept thinking about what his parents were going to have to go through as a result of his death. Can you imagine going through such an ordeal?

Derek O’Dell, another student interviewed in MSNBC, was one of the many who were injured—he was shot in the arm. He said that he was one of 10 or 15 people who was shot in his classroom. He said that the gunman didn’t say anything. He just started shooting. O’Dell too spoke about the students in the classroom barricading the door to keep the gunman from coming back in.

I imagine we’ll hear all sorts of similar stories from students and teachers in the days to come. We owe it to them to listen.


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