Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The worst kind of waiting
When I first arrived today at Virginia Tech, I was directed by campus staff through a large hallway off a ballroom at the Alumni Center. It had already become the worst kind of waiting room. This was where many students and parents were gathering -- pockets of people who hadn't heard from their friend or child since the shootings.

A group of engineering students was looking for some friends who might have been in Norris Hall during the second shooting. One was optimistic that he probably couldn't reach some of them because of how people scattered from the campus. Many were on their cell phones. I heard one say, "Yes, I'm trying to locate ..."

When I came back a couple hours later, the change in mood was palpable. I have never seen that look on a person's face before, let alone on so many faces.

Shock. The realization that today and every day after will be so, so different.

-- By Brianna Keilar, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 12:36 AM ET
  6 Comments
I am in South Africa and these shootings are shocking half the world away. Every trgedy like this irreparably changes our collective world view that much more and adds to our communal grief.
Immediately after the shooting at virginia tech, the media swarmed the campus like a flock of vultures. But, you weren't there to report the news or to keep the public informed. Before the bodies were removed from the building where they were murdered, you were looking for someone to blame...someone, anyone, besides the murderer.

Why does the media consistently try to place the blame for crime on everyone but the criminal? I'm sure within the next few days, CNN will find a way to blame this carnage on George Bush.
Posted By Anonymous Perry Thomas, Dallas, Texas : 1:45 AM ET
When Canada brought in the Gun Registry, they said it will protect us from this kind of thing. Since the U.S has a stronger Gun Registry than we do, who's to say Canada's version won't fail. Obviously it's not protecting the U.S citisens. If someone wants a gun (or two as this case is), they're going to get it one way or another. I will admit though... this is a senseless act. Personally I think the guy shouldn't have killed himself. He should have stayed alive and let the families of the victims have at him and make him die a slow and painful death just like the families are doing tonight. As a 26 yr old father, I know if anything were to happen to my son, I would die slowly inside...especially if it were to happen like this. That guy took the coward's way out. It's pretty sad when a child goes to get a presumably safe education and this happens. However it all comes back to the families of the victims. My heart and prayers go out to those families tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Chris Ritchie - Provost, Alberta, Canada : 1:50 AM ET
I would just like to say my thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved especially the victims and their families but also the shooters family. This has to be rough on everyone.
Posted By Anonymous Shauna Deland, Fl. : 1:56 AM ET
Four weeks ago two of our high school students died as a result of two different car accidents on the same night. Our campus is still reeling. I can't even imagine what this campus is enduring now. My hope is that the media gets the answers it wants, packs it up, and lets this campus and community grieve and heal. It's horrible. And the world doesn't need to do anymore than keep them in prayer and stop pointing fingers. Blame should be placed on an obviously disturbed man who took out his pain on a campus of innocents and then himself. And now I get to go explain to high school kids why something like this happened once again. I have no clue how to even begin...
Posted By Anonymous Tammy C., Berwick, LA : 7:11 AM ET
It's very clear now that the killer was a time-bomb ticking from 2005. It's strange that his psychotic traits had not been included in police records that could have prevented the gun-store from selling him the firearms used in the massacre.Then again, the very laws that allow Americans to own sixty-five million firearms may also have prevented information on the mentally sick gunman from being distributed by the police as 'invasion of privacy'.
Posted By Anonymous Jeyapaul Samathanam from Malaysia : 8:01 PM ET
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