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Wounded Student Says He Forgives Virginia Tech Gunman

Published:

(April 19) - Garrett Evans was in German class when the Virginia Tech senior heard what he thought was construction noise. Then, a scream.

That, reports The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith, is when Evans knew what he was hearing was gunfire.

By then, Cho Seung-Hui was at the classroom door.

"The gun was already drawn and pointed," the economics major from Plainfield, Ill., told Smith from his bed in Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, Va. "Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. This girl gets shot, this girl gets shot. The teacher went down, too.

"He wasn't erratic or anything with his shots. He was totally deliberate.

"He had this face. It was total concentration on what he was doing. He had a purpose in mind and the purpose was taking lives. And he just kept shooting, and he loaded a clip, and reloaded in that room."

Evans was shot in the leg as he dove to the floor.

In all, he thinks Cho was in the room about 30 seconds before leaving.

Several determined students who hadn't been shot rushed to the door to close it.

"I really had a bad feeling he was gonna come back and try to finish what he started," Evans said. "And sure enough, he did try to. He tried to force that door open, but those three just stayed persistent, kept it closed, kept it closed, although it got open about (enough for me to) see his face."

Cho moved on and Evans' life was spared, thanks to the bravery of his classmates.

"I'm thankful for them, truly thankful for them. And they certainly saved my life," he said.

It was, Smith observes, as if goodness and evil were battling before his eyes.

"I saw the devil at work," Evans says. "I felt both spirits at the same time. And God spared my life."

Evans says he bears no ill will toward Cho.

In fact, he says he feels sorry for him: "I wish I had a chance to meet him before this happened, so that I'd have had a chance to reach out to him."

"You know that sounds crazy!" Smith interjected.

"Yes," Evans acknowledged. "If someone could have reached out to him, none of this would have happened."

Evans says the only pain he feels is for the families who lost loved ones — this from a man with a bullet still lodged in his left leg.

And as for healing?

"The key to healing," Evans said, "and the first step, the most important step, is to forgive. I forgive that shooter.

"I'm alive. I'm healing. I'm just so blessed. Words cannot describe how blessed I am."

By Harry Smith/Early Show

Entry #1,096

Comments

1.
justxploringComment by justxploring - April 21, 2007, 12:02 pm
I understand what Evans is saying, although he obviously has more Faith and Understanding than I do.   He is talking about spiritual forgiveness, not forgetting what horror Cho brought upon these students and their families. Hating him won't give life back to those he murdered. However, if Cho hadn't also died, he should have been punished. Just because someone is forgiven, doesn't mean he isn't responsible.

Also, if I were the grieving parents, I'd probably blame a lot of other people, since there were more red flags flying over Cho than Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. Even teachers notified the authorities that something was wrong with him and he was violent. He was obviously mentally ill. People are calling him evil. Those horrible videos show he was obviously psychotic and possibly suffered from some kind of paranoid schizophrenia. Still, that doesn't mean I'm making an excuse for his actions. Just a explanation.
2.
Comment by c*aramel - April 21, 2007, 2:58 pm
Why did'nt somebody listen to those teachers? Especially Nikki Giovanni. She is a highly acclaimed poet and if she threatened to quit if Cho was not taken out of her class, then this should have been given immediate attention. The head of the department should have gone all the way to the top in administration to get that young man committed to an institution for mentally unstable individuals. Later she said she thought he had graduated? Ms. Roy the ball was in your court , you carried it a few yards, then dropped it. I don't want to blame you but I know it is something you have to live with the rest of your life. Some of us have a chance to change the course of history and stop far short. The lesson to be learned is to go all the way and follow your gut. God Bless

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