Riddle of 'girlfriend' who was first to die

EMILY Hilscher was only just starting out in life. Aged 19, she had an "outgoing, friendly and helpful" personality, her friends said.

The girl who called herself "the Pixie" was the first to die.

There were contradictory reports as to whether Miss Hilscher was in a relationship or dating Cho Seung-Hui, the man who killed her and 31 other people at Virginia Tech.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

One comment on the website Facebook.com, where dozens of photographs and messages of condolence were published, seemed to refer to this, saying: "I'm sorry that she ever got involved with this guy." However, sources close to the family said she was not Cho's girlfriend.

The first-year student, the daughter of Eric and Elizabeth Hilscher, of Woodville, Virginia, had worked in a vet's office before studying animal and poultry sciences at Virginia Tech. "She cared about them [animals] her whole life," said John McCarthy, a family friend. Another friend, Will Nachless, said: "She was very outgoing, friendly and helpful."

Another friend said: "She was so filled with life and always had something wonderful to say, or was always making me smile."

The second victim, Ryan Clark, 22, of Martinez, Georgia, was studying biology and English and was a popular member of Virginia Tech's marching band.

He was a student adviser at West Ambler Johnston Hall, the dormitory where Miss Hilscher was killed at about 7:15am on Monday, and was known to friends as "Stack".

"He was just one of the greatest people you could possibly know," a friend, Gregory Walton, 25, said. "He was always smiling, always laughing. I don't think I ever saw him mad in the five years I knew him." Mr Clark was going to investigate after the shooting of Miss Hilscher when he came upon Cho and was shot.

The other victims were killed in Norris Hall, where classes were held about two hours after Miss Hilscher and Mr Clark were killed.

They included Professor GV Loganathan, 51, who was an Indian-born lecturer at the Virginia Tech department of civil and environmental engineering. He had worked there since 1982.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ross Alameddine, 20, of Saugus, Massachusetts, was in a French class when he was shot. His mother, Lynnette, said she was furious about how victims' relatives were notified of the shooting. "It happened in the morning and I did not hear until a quarter to 11 at night," she said. "That was outrageous."

Daniel Perez Cueva, 21, from Peru, studied international relations. . Caitlin Hammaren, 19, of Westtown, New York, was taking international studies and French. Kevin Granata, a professor of engineering science and mechanics, served in the military and later conducted orthopaedic research before moving to Virginia Tech to study biomechanics. .

Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, was a renowned engineering and maths lecturer.

Mary Read, 19, was born in South Korea into an air-force family and settled in the Virginia suburb of Annandale.

Other victims were Maxine Turner, from Vienna, Virginia, who was studying chemical engineering; Jamie Bishop, who was teaching a German language class; Brian Bluhm, 25, who was taking a master's degree in civil engineering; Matt La Porte, from Dumont, New Jersey, a first-year student in university studies; and Reema Samaha, from Centreville, Virginia, a first-year student and a dancer. Her brother, Omah, said: "I never got to say goodbye."