Liviu Librescu was able to survive the Holocaust but not U.S. gun violence.
Librescu came to the U.S. and became a professor at Virginia Tech, having survived Hitler, Stalin, and Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu. He met his fate on April 16, 2007 at the university, in what was then the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine was governor at the time.
“The day in question he was teaching in the classroom building, teaching an engineering class, and when the shots started to ring out, he told the students to try to jump out the window. And he went and he blocked the door so that they could try to get out of the second-floor window which all but one of them did,” Kaine explained. “As he stood in front of the door, Seung-Hui Cho repeatedly shot through the door, killing Liviu Librescu but not before he could save the lives of virtually everybody in his class.”
The Virginia Tech shooter killed 32 people. That month, Virginia closed a loophole that had let the shooter buy guns, despite having been ruled dangerously mentally ill by a judge. In the 11 years since, the U.S. has had over 1,300 mass shootings.