College visit turns into close call with shooting


College visit turns into close call with shooting


By Paul Gately
GateHouse Media
Wed Apr 18, 2007, 11:55 AM EDT

BOURNE - A Cataumet mother and daughter found themselves in the building adjacent to where a 23-year-old student went on a shooting rampage on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va. Monday.

Ellen Mattingly Driscoll of Cataumet and her daughter Marianna, a Bishop Stang High School student, were on the Virginia Tech campus checking in with the admissions office prior to touring the campus.

Mother and daughter were unaware of the first shootings earlier in the morning. "It was business as usual on campus until the second shooting began even after the first had occurred," Ellen Driscoll said. "Surprisingly there wasn't a big police presence after the first shooting."

"We were in admissions when we started hearing popping," she said. "We didn't think too much of it. A woman leading the tour, who was trying to sell the campus to parents, finally said: 'Oh, there's someone out there with a weapon.' We didn't think about what might be happening. But within minutes we heard volleys of shots. There were two loud volleys. Then there was lots of screaming. Then shouts of 'get out!'"

The Driscolls were moved to the center of the admissions building where there were no windows. They were not allowed to leave until noon.

Ellen Driscoll said VT is "a lovely campus and truly beautiful school," but she said her thoughts about the college were decidedly different while heading to her car at noon than they were earlier in the morning when she and her daughter had crossed the drill field for what was expected to be a routine admissions briefing and tour.


Original Source: The Upper Cape Codder
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Paul Gately / GateHouse Media, “College visit turns into close call with shooting,” The April 16 Archive, accessed March 1, 2024,