Hero: Israeli Professor Sacrificed Self For Students

by Infidelesto on April 17, 2007 · View Comments

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via TimesOnline

Professor Librescu: “a wonderful man, a survivor, and a hero” one student wrote…

Professor Librescu:

A 76-year-old Jewish-Romanian lecturer was hailed a hero after blocking his classroom door long enough for many of his students to escape the Virginia Tech gunman, before being shot dead.

Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, pressed himself against the door of the classroom while shots were fired in the corridor and surrounding rooms. He stood firm, attempting to barricade the door, while his students clambered out of the windows.

His son, Joe Librescu, said in an interview from Tel Aviv that the professor e-mailed his wife to say that he had prevented the gunman getting into the classroom. However, the next e-mails received by the family were from students in the class informing them that Mr Librescu had not survived the shootings.

“My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee,” Joe Librescu said. “Students started opening windows and jumping out.”

Alec Calhoun, 20, from Waynesboro, Virginia, was one of the students to escape from Librescu’s class. When they heard the screams and gunshots, he and his classmates kicked through the screens on the second floor windows.

Mr Calhoun believes he was the last person to leave the room before the gunman struck. “I must’ve been the eighth or ninth person who jumped, and I think I was the last,” he said. The two students behind him and his teacher blocking the door were shot according to Mr Calhoun.

Richard Mallieu, 23, from Virginia was another student watching an engineering slideshow given by Librescu when Cho Seung-Hui began shooting in the Norris Building. He admitted: “I don’t think my teacher got out.”

On the God Bless Virginia Tech blog set up by students while the massacre was under way, one poster wrote of Librescu: “What a wonderful man, a survivor, and a hero. He will be missed!”

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