At least 3 local students besides Ryan Clark were at Virginia Tech at the time of the shooting. They were not harmed. One of those students almost came face to face with the gunman.
Midland valley graduate Derek Herron says he never expected to be a part of history like this.
Virginia tech's campus turned into a war zone as an unidentified gunman opened fire in the worst shooting in U.S. history. One Aiken teen watched the chaos unfold from his dorm room less than one hundred yards from where the first shooting happened.
“I had seen two cops outside my window with like guns and everything and all the sudden they turned around and pointed their guns and took off running. They apprehended somebody but then released him because it was just a student,” says Derek Herron.
Midland Valley graduate Derek Herron is a freshman on campus and was scheduled to be in Norris Hall at the time of the second shooting. Thankfully, he dropped the class but he still thinks about what those students must have gone through as the gunman chained the doors and opened fire.
“The classes in there are pretty small and that made it even worse for the people trying to get away and everything because you can't fight back sitting at your desk. It leaves you in a very vulnerable situation.”
Derek says he's spent the day calling family and watching the news, and praying for the victims.
“The worst thing right now is they haven't released any names. Right now I’m really anxious, but not in a good way. I'm just really worried about how it's going to turn out. It's going to be tough for me as well if someone I know was killed because I have no clue right now.”
Derek says despite the tragedy in his backyard, his thoughts are here in Augusta with the family of Ryan Clark.
“It’s an awful situation and I feel really bad for the family of Ryan and others that knew him.”
Derek says he plans to finish out the school year and plans to return home for the summer.
News 12 also spoke briefly to Lindsay King. She's a sophomore at Virginia Tech from South Aiken High School. She's okay but very shaken.
News 12 also learned that Brandon Barden, a freshman football player from Lincoln County is okay. Barden was at a football team meeting and left the dorm just minutes before the gunfire broke out.