Friends Pay Tribute to Those Who Were Lost

Among the dead at Virginia Tech are students and professors who made deep and lasting impressions on the Blacksburg community and beyond. Friends and colleagues pay tribute.

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

The students at Virginia Tech on Tuesday included Ryan Clark. He was a senior. He was a musician in the marching band where he played with Denise Aspell.

DENISE ASPELL: He was leadership in the Marching Virginians. He helped, you know, the younger students with their music and their drill, as far as where they're going, what forms they're making, and played very well in the symphony band.

INSKEEP: Ryan Clark was also a resident adviser in a dorm, and on Monday morning he went to investigate a scuffle in the hallway. That's where he was killed.

Other students at Virginia Tech on Monday morning included Erin Peterson. She was a freshman on the basketball team. She'd been a high school star in Chantilly, Virginia, where her coach was Patrick Pat Deegan.

PATRICK PAT DEAGAN: If the team needed some points, Erin put the points in. If the team needed some rebounds, Erin would go get that rebound. If the team needed, you know, someone to boost up everyone else, Erin would do that as well.

INSKEEP: Erin Peterson was killed on Monday, along with Reema Samaha. She loved to dance. She was part of Virginia Tech's contemporary dance ensemble and she practiced for hours each week with Talia Routneck(ph).

TALIA ROUTNECK: I know that she performed in a number of different dance groups, one of which is ours, another if which is a ballet dancing group that she ran on campus. She was one of the most wonderful people to be around, one of the most beautiful people - inside and out - that I've ever met.

INSKEEP: Another person at Virginia Tech on Monday morning was Kevin Granada. He was a professor in a department headed by Ishwar Puri.

ISHWAR PURI: Kevin grew up in the United States, I believe in Ohio. He was in the military and then he did some orthopedics work in British hospitals, and then he found the call to serve to be a researcher and to serve higher education and came to Virginia Tech.

INSKEEP: Kevin Granata became a top researcher on cerebral palsy before he was killed on Monday. His fellow professors included Liviu Librescu. He was a Holocaust survivor. He was also survived life in communist Romania before slipping away to research in the West.

PURI: He was a giant. His work has helped us make better airplanes, better composite materials. Both Liviu and Kevin were dedicated teachers. They mentored large numbers of students. I received messages from all over the world from their Ph.D. students who are professors.

INSKEEP: According to media reports, in the last moments of his life, Liviu Librescu tried to stop the shooter from entering a classroom. He threw himself against the door.

Those are some of Monday's victims. And NPR will remember more through the day. You can read profiles of the victims at npr.org.

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Remembering Virginia Tech's Shooting Victims

When a gunman opened fire in a classroom building on the Virginia Tech campus Monday, he took the lives of at least 30 people, including students and faculty members. Two more students died in an earlier shooting at a dorm. Here, a brief look at those victims whose names have been confirmed by NPR:

Ross Alameddine

Ross Alameddine

Alameddine, 20, was a sophomore English major from Saugus, Mass. A memorial page on Facebook.com describes him as "an intelligent, funny, easygoing guy." Alameddine was killed in the classroom building, Norris Hall, Robert Palumbo, a family friend, told the Associated Press. Photo from Facebook.com.

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