Va. Tech survivor tells story in Houston

February 9, 2008 9:24:06 AM PST
He survived the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Now he is bringing his story of survival to Houston. Thirty-three people were killed last year when a student went on two separate rampages on the Virginia Tech campus.

Garrett Evans was just weeks from graduating with an economics degree from Virginia Tech when the gunman stormed into his class. More than half of his classmates were killed. Garrett says he's taking the tragedy and turning it into a lesson for all to learn.

Evans relives the day again and again.

"Bodies dropping one by one, dying in front of my face," he recalled.

The Chicago native talked to reporters from his hospital bed after the shootings.

"One of the worst things a human being can smell is death," said Evans.

April 16, 2007, he was sitting in German class at Virginia Tech when about half of his classmates were killed. Garrett was wounded and the bullet is still in his thigh.

After his recovery, he decided to take his story of survival across the country. And he's not afraid to share it with a stranger on the street.

Evans and a friend are encouraging school districts and campuses to establish an alert system that contacts students and parents via text messaging and email.

"There was two hours in between the two shootings and I decided to get involved with school dispatch so other schools can be safer," said Evans.

Evans says he doesn't know where this new journey will take him next, but he believes if he was saved that day...

"I was spared for a lot of reasons," he said. "This was definitely one of them."

Now is the time to give back.

"If you choose to forgive, chances are you will do something positive and you will head in the right direction," said Evans.

Evans says a year ago, he never would have imagined where his life would have taken him. This is Evan's first trip to Texas. He's making stops in Austin and San Antonio, too.

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