Virginia Tech Professor Recounts Shooting Rampage Scott Hendricks, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech, was on the third floor of Norris Hall when the second round of shooting happened. The building was the site of most of the deaths.
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Virginia Tech Professor Recounts Shooting Rampage

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Virginia Tech Professor Recounts Shooting Rampage

Virginia Tech Professor Recounts Shooting Rampage

Virginia Tech Professor Recounts Shooting Rampage

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More than 33 people were killed Monday on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., after a gunman opened fire in a dormitory and a classroom building. More than 20 others were injured.

The gunman, who also died, has not yet been identified.

Virginia Tech, a large university in the southwestern part of the state, has more than 25,000 students on a 2,600-acre campus. Gunfire was first reported in a dormitory at 7:15 a.m. ET. The shooter then moved across campus to an engineering building where the second round of shooting occured.

The attack was the deadliest shooting ever on an American campus. Virginia Tech president Charles Steger described it as a tragedy of "monumental proportions" when he spoke with reporters.

Scott Hendricks, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech, tells Michele Norris that he was on the third floor of Norris Hall when the second round of shooting happened. The building was the site of most of the deaths.

Hendricks says he barricaded himself in his office, and that he heard 30 to 40 rounds fired over a period of about 30 minutes. Two of his colleagues were shot — one in the arm, the other in the face. Hendricks says he and some students hid in a classroom until it became quiet enough to leave.

Violent Identity Thrust Upon Virginia Tech

Students walk past Burruss Hall, an administration building on the campus of Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech University Relations hide caption

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Virginia Tech University Relations

Virginia Tech is on a vast, rolling green campus snuggled up to the small downtown of Blacksburg.

Tall Gothic-style buildings were built from locally quarried light-colored "Hokie stone." The view to the west is of mountain ranges — the Alleghenies. It's a place of pioneer history, formerly a part of the American frontier. The New River flows nearby, making its northerly way into West Virginia.

Tech's student population is more than 25,000. Yet the school seems small and serene, especially since Interstate 81, running the length of Virginia, is a good 15 miles away.

The university has always been proud of its engineering expertise. It was a land-grant college which opened in 1872 as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, later to be formally known as Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Then Tech became a big-time football school, with dynamic teams and an All-American quarterback, Michael Vick. After Tech played in — and lost — the 2000 national football championship game, its national visibility increased.

After today though, Virginia Tech will also be known for Monday's shootings, much in the same way that Kent State University in Ohio had a different identity after the National Guard opened fire on its campus in 1970.