In their own words: 2 VA Tech students share their story

In their own words: 2 VA Tech students share their story
Raycom Media EXCLUSIVE
By: Chris Windmuller - Glen Allen, VA
Mark Anderson - Norfolk, VA

Events as they occurred April 16, 2007 in Blacksburg, VA by Chris and Mark:
I still can not believe that this tragedy has happened here today.  You hear about these things occurring and think that it would never happen to or near you, but then this happens.  I have yet to get in touch with all of my friends here in Blacksburg which worries me a bit.  My friends that I have been in contact with and I are just so shocked.  Campus looks like a war zone. Everything is locked down with cops, SWAT, FBI, and various other law enforcement agents are all over the place.  I didn't realize how bad it was until I went to the dinning hall and there were cops with dogs covering the perimeter, and other officers inside, weapons drawn.
My friend Mark and I were lucky today.  We both feel that we dodged a big one.  Mark lives off campus in the Foxridge Apartments.  I stayed the night there and at around 8:30 this morning, we both headed to campus; him for class and me to get back to my dorm.  It was snowing pretty roughly so I insisted that Mark drop me off at my dorm hall, rather then on the other side of campus near the education buildings, like Pamplin Hall.  Since his class wasn't until 9:00, he had plenty of time to take me to my building and make it back to his class.  He dropped me off at Lee Hall (my dorm is O'Shag) which is about 150 yards from AJ.  He then proceeded back to the other side of campus and went to his class in Hutchenson, adjacent to Slusher Tower.  There in class, his professor told the class that there had been a shooting in AJ earlier that morning, and he dismissed class.  As Mark left the building he headed toward Whittenmore across the drill field, he decided to cut through Norris to get to class because it was so cold and windy out.  A police officer jumped out at him as Mark reached for the door and told him to get out of the area.  He started heading away from the building and then heard gunshots.  He ran away from the noise of the shots and called someone to come pick him up.
After talking to each other about the events of the day, we both think that we were extremely lucky.  Had we left 5 minutes earlier, Mark could have been inside Norris at the time of the shooting.  Had we left 5 minutes later, I would have had to cross the drill field to get to my dorm hall and possibly been caught on the drill field around the same time as the shooter.