It still doesn't seem real for Erin Rosinger.
As Rosinger, a 2003 Brainerd High School graduate, was in her dorm room at Virginia Tech on Monday morning, a gunman killed 32 others before killing himself on her campus, a short distance from her dormitory.
In a telephone interview Wednesday, the 22-year-old college senior from Crosslake said what remains after Monday's massacre is a profound sense of sadness on campus and in the community.
Like many of her fellow students, she said she has remained glued to television news, watching the latest developments in the deadly school shooting. She said it's hard to comprehend that the national news reporters are talking about her own campus.
"It's still hard to fathom that it's us," Rosinger said. "It's hard to believe. I walked around campus the night of the shooting and it was very eerie, not normal. I felt very sad, knowing that night that all the bodies were still in there (Norris Hall). They laid there alone. That bothered me."
Erin Rosinger, 22, a 2003 Brainerd High School graduate from Crosslake, is a senior at Virginia Tech and was in her dorm room Monday at the time of the campus shootings.
Norris Hall, where the majority of the victims were killed, is a short distance from her own dormitory, Brodie Hall, where she was at the time of the shooting. Rosinger is a Navy ROTC member and lives in a Corps of Cadets dorm.
She had been up around 6:30 a.m. for formation drills and returned to her dorm and went back to sleep. She got an e-mail at about 9:40 a.m. about the earlier shooting at Ambler Johnston Hall and a few minutes later received another e-mail about a gunman loose on campus. She and her roommate watched the chaos outside their dorm window, with police officers outside and students running from nearby McBryde Hall, located next to Norris Hall. She said police had told the students to run away from the scene.
Rosinger and other cadets were under lockdown inside Brodie Hall until 2 p.m. Monday. She said she called her parents, Chris and Tim Rosinger of Crosslake, right after receiving the campus e-mails to let them know what was happening. Watching the national news coverage in her dorm room later that day, she learned about the death toll on her campus.
Rosinger said a fellow cadet, a sophomore who lived a floor below her, was killed. A friend also was shot three times by the gunman but survived. Rosinger attended Tuesday's convocation in which President George Bush and first lady Laura Bush also were in attendance.
Rosinger said that while many students have gone home this week, she has been staying at the off-campus apartment she recently got for the summer. She and her fellow students are waiting to see what will happen next, if classes will resume next week.
"We've just been watching the news," Rosinger said. "I have a lot of work to do but nobody is in the mood to do anything."
Rosinger, who majored in interior design with a minor in military leadership, plans to attend naval flight school in Florida after she graduates from Virginia Tech, with the goal of becoming a Navy pilot. She will graduate May 11. While a student at BHS, Rosinger was a member of the Brainerd Kixters and the BHS swimming team.
Rosinger said Blacksburg, Va., home of Virginia Tech and located in the mountains with lots of trees and beautiful scenery, "feels like home" to her. If a deadly school shooting could happen there, Rosinger said it could happen anywhere.
"I think everybody thinks about it, that it couldn't happen at your school, but if you have a madman, it could happen anywhere," she said.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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