Va. Tech Senior May Have Saved Classmates

On Monday, Virginia Tech was the scene of a shooting rampage that left 33 people dead, including the possible shooter. With at least 15 people injured, it's the worst campus shooting in U.S. history.

Zach Petkewicz was in a classroom in Virginia Tech's Norris Hall when the shooter made his way down the hallway and tried repeatedly to enter the classroom full of students.

That shooter eventually killed 33 people including himself and it's possible he could have killed more if Petkwozicz, a senior, had not acted.

At first, Petkewicz and his classmates thought the gunshots were just some construction. Then he heard a girl scream.

Click here to see photos of the Virginia Tech shooting.
"Two of the girls in my class looked out the hall and saw a guy coming out into the hallway with a gun pointed down to the ground," Petkewicz told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. "They slammed the door shut and just told everybody. Everybody kind of went into a panic — didn't know what to do. I hid behind the teacher's podium and then realized, you know, there's nothing locking this door; he's just going to come in. So I said we need to barricade this door. Two of my classmates got up and helped me. We just held the table there…Meanwhile, all these gunshots are going on. He eventually came, tried to open the door, didn't go. Tried to shoulder his way in, got the door open about 6 inches. We had to slam it back shut on him.

"That's when he put two bullets into the center of the door, thinking we were up against it, trying to close him out. He then reloaded. I was against the ground, right against the door. I thought he was coming in for a second round, but for the grace of God, he just kept going and didn't try to get back in there."

Including himself, Petkewicz said there were 11 students in the classroom. The experience has still not fully registered and he said it's "kind of surreal." He didn't see the shooters face and didn't see his demeanor. All Petkewicz could think about was keeping the shooter out of the classroom.

"I didn't hear a word from him," Petkewicz said. "And I didn't see him at all. I was — I was just trying to push that table up against that door."

Of course, Petkewicz's parents are very concerned and wanted to come get him. Petkwozicz, who looked visibly shaken during his interview, said he would rather stay with his friends.

"Never thought in my wildest dreams I'd be in a situation like that," he said.
  • Caitlin Johnson

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