Wounded Student: I Forgive Gunman

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."

Click here for an interactive gallery of the victims.

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."
  • Sean Alfano

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