I am completely freaked out right now about the news out of Virginia Tech this morning, so what better thing to do than write. I happened to phone my sister this morning around 11am to say hi, and when I could tell she was driving I asked her where she was. She said "Blacksburg, just outside Virginia Tech" on the highway, driving to some dinky town in southwest Virginia. She told me how there was something big going on at Tech because she was seeing literally hundreds of cop cars from cities and counties far and wide racing down the highway past her. She said her husband had called her and informed her there was a shooting this morning and not to get off the highway in Blacksburg.
I quickly looked it up online and filled her in on the details I could find, which at that time was one person dead and possibly two separate shootings. It was chaos, and I couldn't get much info. I immediately thought of several friends I have who are current students and faculty there. You see, Virginia Tech has a very strong civil engineering program with a ton of research in wastewater treatment. In fact, I have personally taken several classes there and have overseen big research projects there. I consider myself in small part a Hokie because of my coursework there.
I immediately emailed two of my friends who are students, and heard back that one of them was locked in a lab and the other had been warned and had stayed home. I felt very relieved, and I just heard that one of the professors there who I have worked with a lot and is actually a member of my company's board is safely in his office this afternoon. There are still several people I haven't heard from. 32 are now confirmed dead, with at least 28 others wounded at area hospitals.
We had a random sniper shooting on campus when I was at Penn State, and I remember how it scared us. In fact, a friend of mine is the hero who jumped the shooter and stopped her. Only one person died then, and life resumed quickly. If this incident at Tech has affected me this much, I can only imagine how hard it will be in the coming days for that community. Pray for them.