Thursday, April 19, 2007

To honor Kevin Granata

Who is Kevin Granata? Well, let's back up a bit. This will probably be one if the the last post I make on the VA Tech slaughter. I find myself more in the John Derbyshire (of Derb Radio fame) and Mark Steyn school vice the J-Pod school. Have been from the start.

I am also on the same train of thought as John of Argghhh!!! - but even more so - I won't even butcher his name. It won't even be hinted at.

The one thing a psychotic, evil, narcissistic person wants more then anything else is to be seen, heard, and talked about. I will do none of it.

There are some heroes from this slaughter. As 5-6 people I work with, we all think active defense, and that is our training. After 20 years of official training and a lifetime of most of our "nature and nurture" it is hard to think any other way. It is just mentally difficult to understand this,
The gunman entered wordlessly and began shooting. Students scattered to get as far away from the door as possible. One bullet hit Partahi "Mora" Lumbantoruan, an Indonesian doctoral student. His body fell on top of fellow graduate student Guillermo Colman. Then the shooter aimed his two guns around the room, picking off people one by one before leaving. Colman, protected by his classmate's prone body, was one of only four in the room to survive.
the door opened and a shooter stepped in. He was holding guns in both hands. Bishop was hit first, a bullet slicing into the side of his head. All the students saw it, an unbelievable horror. The gunman had a serious but calm look on his face. Almost no expression. He stood in the front and kept firing, barely moving. People scrambled out of the line of fire. Trey Perkins knocked over a couple of desks and tried to take cover. No way I can survive this, he thought. His mind raced to his mother and what she would go through when she heard he was dead. Shouts, cries, sobs, more shots, maybe 30 in all. Someone threw up. There was blood everywhere. It took about a minute and a half, and then the gunman left the room.
The first thing Violand saw was a gun, then the gunman. "I quickly dove under a desk," he recalled. "That was the desk I chose to die under."

He listened as the gunman began "methodically and calmly" shooting people. "It sounded rhythmic-like. He took his time between each shot and kept up the pace, moving from person to person." After every shot, Violand thought, "Okay, the next one is me." But shot after shot, and he felt nothing. He played dead.

"The room was silent except for the haunting sound of moans, some quiet crying, and someone muttering: 'It's okay. It's going to be okay. They will be here soon,' " he recalled. The gunman circled again and seemed to be unloading a second round into the wounded. Violand thought he heard the gunman reload three times. He could not hold back odd thoughts: "I wonder what a gun wound feels like. I hope it doesn't hurt. I wonder if I'll die slow or fast." He made eye contact with a girl, also still alive. They stared at each other until the gunman left.
Cheng and a female student went to the door and peered out. They saw a man emerge from a room across the hall. He was holding a gun, but it was pointed down. They quickly shut the door. More popping sounds, getting louder, closer. The class was in a panic. One student, Zach Petkowicz, was near the lectern "cowering behind it," he would later say, when he realized that the door was vulnerable. There was a heavy rectangular table in the class, and he and two other students pushed it against the door. No sooner had they fixed it in place than someone pushed hard from the outside. It was the gunman. He forced it open about six inches, but no farther. Petkowicz and his classmates pushed back, not letting up. The gunman fired two shots through the door. One hit the lectern and sent wood scraps and metal flying. Neither hit any of the students. They could hear a clip dropping, the distinct, awful sound of reloading. And, again, the gunman moved on.
Webster ducked to the floor and tucked himself into a ball. He shut his eyes and listened as the gunman walked to the back of the classroom. Two other students were huddled by the wall. He shot a girl, and she cried out. Now the shooter was three feet away, pointing his gun right at Webster.

"I felt something hit my head, but I was still conscious," Webster recalled. The bullet had grazed his hairline, then ricocheted through his upper right arm. He played dead. "I lay there and let him think he had done his job. I wasn't moving at all, hoping he wouldn't come back." The gunman left the room as suddenly as he had come in.

When Webster opened his eyes, he saw blood everywhere. Some of it was his, though he didn't realize it until he saw blood pouring out the sleeve of his sweat shirt. The girl nearby was unable to speak, only moaning. Blood seeped from her
By now, most are familiar with the heroism of Professor Librescu,
Professor Librescu's class, seems to have been the gunman's last stop on the second floor. The teacher and his dozen students had heard too much, though they had not seen anything yet. They had heard a girl's piercing scream in the hallway. They had heard the pops and more pops. By the time the gunman reached the room, many of the students were on the window ledge. There was grass below, not concrete, and even some shrubs. The old professor was at the door, which would not lock, pushing against it, when the gunman pushed from the other side. Some of the students jumped, others prepared to jump until Librescu could hold the door no longer and the gunman forced his way inside.

Matt Webster, a 23-year-old engineering student from Smithfield, Va., was one of four students inside when the gunman appeared. "He was decked out like he was going to war," Webster recalled. "Black vest, extra ammunition clips, everything." Again, his look was blank, just a stare, no expression, as he started shooting. The first shot hit Librescu in the head, killing him.
That brave old man - a Holocaust survivor - was left to hold the door against a 23 yr old man by himself - by himself in a room full of young men. No one helped him as Professor Librescu tried to save others. No one.

Back to Kevin Granata - who we have heard little of. Who was he?
Kevin Granata had heard the commotion in his third-floor office and ran downstairs. He was a military veteran, very protective of his students. He was gunned down trying to confront the shooter.
Multiple places state that Professor Granata served in the military, but I couldn't find what service. It really doesn't matter - we are all trained to head towards the sound of gunfire. Though unsuccessful, I find exceptional honor in his attempt. If he had help, perhaps many could have been saved.

We need more such men - are we raising out boys to be such men? It is an unpopular question - but there it is. Another part of my training I presume - I am supposed to ask unpopular questions.

Bravo Zulu Professor Granata; Shipmate.

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