Local VT Student Tells Experience

By: Philip Stewart Email
By: Philip Stewart Email

For Ben Mills, a 2004 Albemarle High School graduate, it was a typical Monday morning at Virginia Tech, except he was trying to get to his 10:10 a.m. class a little early to get ready for a quiz.

"Instead of being over in our class before it began, we would have been probably less than 50 feet away from the building where the shootings occurred," said Mills.

Once in class, he learned of the lockdown and heard the horrifying news of what had happened from a friend who works at the student radio station.

"They had confirmed at least 20 people were dead. That was at least an hour before it got to news headlines."

As names of possible victims began to circulate around campus, Mills learned that someone he knew had been shot.

"One friend of mine was in the hospital and that there was just tremendous support for him, people going to see him," said Mills.

Mills said his friend is still in the hospital, but is doing okay. As for himself, Mills said the tragedy at his school is taking a while to set in.

"As I had time to sit and reflect myself, and definitely by yesterday, Tuesday, things had sunk in and it was just really horrific."

Before heading home to Albemarle County on Tuesday night, Mills attended the convocation ceremony featuring campus speakers, Governor Kaine and President Bush.

"It was pretty powerful," said Mills. "When they did the cheer and everything it was, you know, it just took the pressure off for at least a few minutes."

Mills said he'll stay here with his family through the weekend before heading back to class at Virginia Tech on Monday.

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