Outside Richmond

By Rachel DePompa – bio | email

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Sorry, for the writing lag last week. The station sent me back to Blacksburg, Virginia for the anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. I was happy to go to see all my old friends. (I worked for the CBS affiliate in Roanoke for 4 years) But going back is also terribly difficult. I was in my office the morning of April 16th 2007 and heard the most panicked voices I’ve ever heard in my life. They were police officers yelling for ambulances. “We need ambulances. We need a lot of ambulances.” I ran out the door, jumped in my news car and drove about 90 miles down route 460. I was being passed left and right by state police and sheriff’s deputies. I got the VT Drillfield, jumped out of my vehicle, (left it running with the door open) and started running across the field. Police officers were on either side of me with semi-automatic rifles. They were crouched behind trees. They were yelling at me to get back. I don’t know what I was thinking. I knew there was a shooter.. but I just wanted to be able to tell people what was going on. The day got progressively worse. It’s a story I don’t tell often. But feel free to ask me about it. I know this is a blog about Richmond politics, but I just wanted to say I remember the 32. I know all of their names. I’ve met many of the loved ones they left behind. And I wanted to solute their bravery and sacrifice. I hope the world never forgets.

 

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Filed under Not Richmond, Virginia Tech

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