Mike Pohle

Mike Pohle

Hometown: Flemington, N.J.

Age: 23

Major: Biochemistry

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Profile: Michael Pohle, 23, would have graduated in a few weeks, would have stepped outside the walls of school, and would have, if his record is any indication, done much if given the chance.

"It's unthinkable that he and all the others," Craig Blanton, his high school vice principal said yesterday, before pausing. "Here he was in his prime and ready to start life."

Pohle graduated in 2002 from Hunterdon Central Regional High School in New Jersey, where he played on the football and lacrosse teams. The flags at the high school flew at half-staff Tuesday, and staff members and students observed a moment of silence at the end of the school day.

The school district released a statement saying: "Michael was a beloved member of his graduating class. . . . As we remember this outstanding young man, our hearts go out to his family and friends who are suffering a tremendous loss."

Blanton said he last saw Pohle in the fall. The biological science major was home on break and went to a high school football game to root for his alma mater.

"That's the type of kid he was," Blanton said. "Michael was a kid you wanted to get to know. He was a good student. He was a good athlete. He was just a good person."

In the days since the shooting, Blanton said he has received many e-mails from Pohle's former classmates. Some simply say, "Tell me it isn't so," he said. Others ask how they can help the family. And some wrote just to share memories.

-- Theresa Vargas, The Washington Post

© 2007 The Washington Post Company