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Students and Teachers Fell to Cho's Gunfire

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And I'm Michele Norris.

In Blacksburg, Virginia, today, more details are coming to light about yesterday's terrible shootings and the student who did the killing.

SIEGEL: Police say he was Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old English major at Virginia Tech. He was raised in Northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., and he was born in South Korea. Fellow students say he was a loner. He often ate by himself in the cafeteria and sometimes didn't even respond to greeting.

NORRIS: This afternoon, Virginia Tech held a convocation to memorialize 32 people who were gunned down yesterday morning.

(Soundbite of music)

NORRIS: President Bush and the first lady went to Blacksburg from Washington to attend the service with the members of the Virginia Tech community.

(Soundbite of music)

SIEGEL: We're going to take a moment now to tell you what we know about some of the victims of yesterday's massacre.

NORRIS: The shooting began in a dorm, and the two students who died there were Ryan Clark and Emily Hilscher. He was 22 years old, a month away from graduation with a triple major in psychology, biology and English, and a member of the Marching Virginians pep band.

SIEGEL: She was a 19-year-old freshman known as an animal lover in her hometown of Woodville, Virginia. In fact, she was studying animal and poultry sciences. On MySpace, she wrote that she's interested, in her words, in pretty much everything except history.

NORRIS: Thirty people were gunned down in a classroom building, among them students Matthew La Porte from Dumont, New Jersey; Henry Lee, who was 20 and who grew up in Roanoke, Virginia; and Reema Samaha, an 18-year-old freshmen from Centerville, Virginia. She and the shooter attended the same high school but apparently did not know each other.

Ms. LOU ANNE MCNABB(ph) (Family Friend of Reema Samaha): I know she loved dance, she loved acting. I know she was learning French; she was very good in French.

NORRIS: Lou Anne McNabb is a long-time family friend in Centerville who knew Reema Samaha from the time she was born.

Ms. MCNABB: She won the talent show last year doing a great belly dance -beautiful outfit, beautiful dance.

NORRIS: McNabb says Samaha is survived by her parents, an older sister, and an older brother who was a graduate of Virginia Tech.

SIEGEL: Caitlin Hammaren, 19 years old, was an only child. She grew up in Westtown, New York, in upstate New York. Martha Murray is the superintendent of the Minisink Valley School District, where Hammaren went to high school.

Ms. MARTHA MURRAY (Superintendent, Minisink Valley School District): And she was a wonderful music student. She played the violin in the All-County Chorus, but she could always be seen on the risers singing in a concert. She was not only a member of the mixed chorus but she was the president of the mixed chorus. And then she belonged to a more select group of singers, special singers, called our chamber choir. So she was quite a talented musician.

SIEGEL: Caitlin Hammaren sang alto, says Martha Murray, and her friends called her Katie.

NORRIS: At least four professors and instructors were killed yesterday at Norris Hall. G.V. Loganathan taught civil and environmental engineering.

SIEGEL: Liviu Librescu taught engineering and math.

NORRIS: Kevin Granata taught biomechanics. He did research about orthopedics before coming to Virginia Tech. He and his students were looking into muscle and reflex response and robotics.

SIEGEL: And Jamie Bishop, who taught German, was a relative newcomer to Virginia Tech. A couple of years ago, he left the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to move to Blacksburg with his wife, Stephanie Hofer. She's on the faculty of the Department of Foreign Languages at Virginia Tech. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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