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Virginia Tech Shooting Victims Remembered
Among the first victims of the shooting rampage was Emily Hilscher, 19, of Rappahannock County. She and another student were killed in the first shooting at the West Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory, according to Rappahannock County administrator John W. McCarthy.
Hilscher had no known connection to the gunman, said McCarthy, who said the Rappahannock sheriff's office was briefed by law enforcement authorities in Blacksburg.
Hilscher, who graduated last year from Rappahannock County High School, was a freshman at Virginia Tech. She was studying to be a veterinarian and had worked at a local veterinary office during the summer, McCarthy said. She was an animal lover and was fond of horse riding.
"She was a beautiful, smart, great kid," he said. With only about 7,000 people in the close-knit county, practically everyone knows everyone else, he said. "And Emily was certainly well known and loved."
The student shot along with Hilscher was Ryan C. Clark, a Virginia Tech senior and a deeply admired resident adviser in West Ambler Johnston.
Clark, called "Stack" by his friends, was from Martinez, Ga., just outside Augusta. He was friendly and charismatic, said Kelly Pierce, who lives in the dorm. Monica Price, 23, of Annandale, who graduated from Virginia Tech in December and knew Clark, said he was spending an extra academic year at the university and planned to go to graduate school.
Price said she was told that Clark had gone to check on people's safety yesterday morning after hearing that a possible outsider was in the dormitory.
Clark, who played in the university marching band, was pursuing a double major in English and biology and expected to work for an advanced degree in psychology, according to the band's Web site.
"He was just one of the greatest people you could possibly know," Gregory Walton, 25, a friend, told the Associated Press. "He was always smiling, always laughing. I don't think I ever saw him mad in the five years I knew him."
Caitlin Hammaren, 19, would have turned 20 on May 4. She graduated from Minisink Valley High School in 2005, said Martha Murray, superintendent of the Minisink Valley Central School District near Middletown, N.Y.