John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
A Profile in Courage amidst tragedy in the New York Daily News
Liviu Librescu was killed as he blocked his classroom door to keep the gunman out as students escaped out the window.
Ryan Clark was shot as he went to investigate a disturbance in the dorm where he was the resident student adviser, witnesses said.
Virginia Tech University Prof. Liviu Librescu, described as a family man who once did research for NASA, sacrificed his life to save his students in the shooting rampage yesterday.
“When he heard the gunfire, he blocked the entrance and got shot through the door,” his daughter-in-law Ayala Schmulevich said.
“He realized he had to save the students,” she said. “That was the kind of man he was.”
The hero educator was beginning a class on solid mechanics when all hell broke loose on the second floor of Norris Hall.
First came the terrifying gunshots from a classroom next door.
“It wasn’t like an automatic weapon, but it was a steady ‘pow,’ ‘pow,’ ‘pow,’ ‘pow,'” student Richard Mallalieu, 23, told The Washington Post. “We didn’t know what to do at first.”
The students in the class dropped to the floor and started overturning desks to hide behind as about a dozen shots rang out, he said.
Then the gunfire started coming closer. Librescu, 77, fearlessly braced himself against the door, holding it shut against the gunman in the hall, while students darted to the windows of the second-floor classroom to escape the slaughter, survivors said.
Mallalieu and most of his classmates hung out of the windows and dropped about 10 feet to bushes and grass below – but Librescu stayed behind to hold off the crazed gunman.
Alec Calhoun, 20, said the last thing he saw before he jumped from the window was Librescu, blocking the door against the madman in the hallway.
He died trying to protect the students.