My youngest cousin was in a building next to Norris Hall. She’s an engineering major at VT. Her mother works on campus. Her father has worked for the campus for years, and works for the campus from home. She wrote yesterday with a brief update that said, in part:
One guy I know was in a classroom in Norris (the building that the gunman barricaded) but they put a table up against the door and all pushed on the door when the gunman tried to enter. Two bullets came through the door at chest level but everyone was down low to the ground and later escaped safely.
As I read through the Wikipedia entry she sent, I was amazed at the story of Liviu Librescu. He was a survivor of the violence of the Holocaust.
He was killed in the Norris Hall Engineering Building. He was 77 years old. Librescu held the door of his classroom shut while the gunman, Cho Seung-hui, was attempting to enter it, and was shot through the door, but was able to prevent the shooter from entering the classroom until his students had escaped through the windows, sacrificing his life to save several students from being harmed and is regarded as a hero during the aftermath of the Blacksburg massacre.
As a student of self-defense, I have great respect for those willing to put their lives at risk to help others. My uncle suggested that in addition to classes in self-defense, we should have classes on group defense. The heros of United 93 forever changed the way airplane passengers respond to threats. Tragedies like the Virginia Tech massacre and others may produce the same resolve for group defense in our collective culture when we’re faced with such situations.
Virginia Tech and Blacksburg, our hearts and prayers are with you.