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As reactions grow and more information is uncovered from the Virginia Tech massacre on Monday, the names of the 33 victims who were killed are slowly being released to the public.
One of the first victims identified was Ryan Clark, a 22-year-old senior from Georgia who was a resident assistant at West Ambler Johnston Hall, where the first shooting took place. Clark and another student were shot and killed at 7:15 a.m. by the gunmen, two hours before he would return and kill 30 more students and faculty before turning the gun on himself.
The details are still unfolding but as classes have been cancelled this week, members of Virginia Tech community are gathering to remember their fallen and wounded schoolmates and share memories of happier times to help each other cope.
At his home in Martinez, GA, Bryan Clark, Ryan’s twin brother, told CNN that the family was initially devastated to hear the news but it would soon fade into the realization that he is in a better place.
“All you can do is just know that he went doing something he loved, being an RA and enjoying life,” he said.
Nicknamed “Stack” by his friends, Clark served as the personnel officer for the school marching band, the Marching Virginians, as well as their co-librarian the previous two years. He was a popular student, well-liked and admired by his peers for his warm, personality, and on the marching band’s website, he is being remembered as “a true example of The Spirit of Tech.”
After graduating in December with a double major in biology and English, he had planned to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology with a focus in cognitive neuroscience.
Nadia Clark, Ryan’s older sister, fought back emotions as she described that her brother as a great person who “lived a full life for someone his age” and in true spirit of her brother’s attitude, she said that “he would want all of the other families to stay upbeat and know that Virginia Tech was a great school.”