Amid the horror at Virginia Tech were tales of heroism during the rampage, including an older professor - himself a Holocaust survivor - who gave his life to protect his students.
Romanian-born Liviu Librescu, a dual US-Israeli citizen, moved two decades ago to the United States where he taught in the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Although he was 76, long past the usual retirement age, he was still teaching at Virginia Tech yesterday when chaos erupted in Norris Hall, the campus building where a gunman identified as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, opened fire, killing 30 people people before committing suicide.
Students described how the septuagenarian Librescu used his body to barricade the door against Cho so they could escape by jumping out the classroom's second-floor window. Some broke legs in the fall, but they survived. Librescu was shot to death during the rampage.
An impromptu shrine to the professor was set up on the campus, with flowers and his picture.
Thursday, 19 April 2007
I just read this and burst into tears. Ach. There goes my reputation for hard-boiled cynicism.