The events that unfolded in April 2007 on the campus of Virginia Tech will never leave my mind. I was on the desk here at ABC 13 from the very beginning. I told you about the death toll – a number that continued to climb, it seemed, every minute.
I was there at the first press conference when the story started to unfold about Seung-Hui Cho. The pictures, his writings … and that haunting video. I will never forget any of it.
When it was all over I felt, as many of you did, a great sense of sadness. This news I reported every day, this supremely sad news, wasn't just a headline. It was going on in my community and it was really hard for me to get past that thought.
Then on Thursday, December 8 I felt like a story that was all too familiar was unfolding again. This time, I was sick in bed. My husband woke me up around 1:30 and said there had been a shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech. I told him he had to joking.
He was not.
I turned on the television and experienced what happened on campus this week like many of you – with Noreen and Len in the studio and David Tate live on campus. I prayed this was an isolated event. I hoped police would catch the shooter quickly. I cried quietly for the family of the police officer gunned down.
Today, I'm back in the newsroom on the other side of this story again. I'm on Twitter and Facebook with new developments and combing through the morning press conference for sound bites to use in our shows.
I'll still be praying for Officer Deriek Crouse's family. The 39-year old father of five children and stepchildren and had been on the force just four years and I can only imagine the impact of his loss.
I'm also praying for the Virginia Tech community as they heal from a wound that is still, in so many ways, fresh. I've seen them do it once before and I know that once again they will come out of this a proud Hokie nation. Remember, We Are Virginia Tech.