Two African Americans Among the Shooting Victims at Virginia Tech

Cho Seung-Hui, a senior at Virginia Tech, was an equal opportunity murderer. Among his 32 victims were whites, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Indians, and Asians. Two of the 32 victims were African-American students. They were:

Ryan Clark, 22 years old, a senior from Martinez, Georgia, majoring in biology and English. He was the resident adviser on the fourth floor of the dormitory where the shooting began. Clark, known as “Stack,” was a member of the marching band. He maintained a 4.0 grade point average and planned to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology.

Erin Peterson was an 18-year-old freshman from Centreville, Virginia. She attended the same high school as Cho Seung-Hui. Peterson was the captain of her high school basketball team. She planned to study either political science or international relations at Virginia Tech.

Nikki Giovanni, the African-American poet and professor at Virginia Tech, gave a spirited speech on campus the day after Cho Seung-Hui went on his rampage at the university. Professor Giovanni reassured the crowd of mourners that, “We will prevail. We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.”