by Danny Verder
April 18, 2007
Violence re-engulfed Virginia Tech Tuesday as traumatized students turned on the hundreds of reporters who had descended on the campus to cover the worst school shooting in American history.
"The first day was surreal, I just felt numb," said sophomore Lucy Shearer. "I had to tell my story to police, and grief consolers and my family. I was just starting to get ahold of myself when a group of TV reporters chased me into class this morning."
Shearer expected the reporters would have moved on an hour and a half later.
"They were still there, waiting for us, when class let out. They surrounded us, shouting and sticking their cameras in our faces. Finally we realized that we outnumbered them, and that was it."
Shearer and her poli-sci classmates beat down 27 reporters, cameramen and producers from various American media outlets.
Six foreign correspondents were allowed to leave unharmed.
Across campus, Eric Shoemaker, roommate to one of the 32 lost souls, had agreed to be interviewed on camera by a local "Action News" reporter while friends watched nearby.
"She was being nice, I guess, asking me all these questions," said Shoemaker. "Then I started crying, and she said, 'that's okay, we can stop,' and she wrapped up."
Once the camera stopped rolling, though, Shoemaker said the female correspondent's demeanor changed greatly.
"She started laughing and high-fiving her segment producer," said Shoemaker. "She was all excited about beating someone out of a promotion. My friend Rhonda pepper-sprayed the bitch."
Shoemaker and Shearer's groups of students gained numbers as they pushed toward the center of campus, forcibly removing anyone associated with the media.
Over 500 reporters were losing skirmishes on two fronts and retreated into a fortified tornado shelter in the basement of a dormitory.
"We want you off the campus now!" Shearer announced over a bullhorn on behalf of the thousands of students that had surrounded the dorm. "Leave us the Hell alone!"
"I was just pressuring some girl about her boyfriend's last cell phone call before he died, and they all just turned on me," said Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera. "I don't know what their problem is. This is news. We have a right to be here."
"People who have been through what these students have are dealing with a great deal of post-traumatic stress," said psychologist Jeffery Weltlich, "and are bound to have some misdirected anger. These journalists know this going in and should be sensitive to it. The reporters were basically poking a hornets' nest with a stick, and got what they deserved."