Slain Virginia Tech Cadet Given Airman’s Medal For Heroic Actions During 2007 Massacre

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Slain Virginia Tech Cadet Given Airman’s Medal For Heroic Actions During 2007 Massacre

On the morning of April 16, 2007, Seung Hui Cho shot and killed 32 students and faculty members at Virginia Tech. It was the largest shooting rampage in U.S. history. Air Force Cadet Matthew J. La Porte, a sophomore, was attending his intermediate French class at the time that Cho began his rampage in Norris Hall. La Porte helped barricade the doors to the classroom. When the shooter charged his way into the room, La Porte charged him in an effort to save the lives of others. He was shot multiple times and was killed.

Last Thursday, Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets honored La Porte for his heroic actions on that painful day. The Air Force awarded him with the Airman’s Medal — the highest honor one can receive when not involved in combat. Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Keith Gay told the touching story of La Porte’s actions that morning which led to receiving the medal posthumously.

From Washington Post:

Instead of telling a story from a distant battlefield, Gay spoke of a 20-year-old sophomore in his intermediate French class who, even after the professor told the class to hide in the back of the room, ran to the front to help other students barricade the door.

“When the shooter forced his way into the classroom, Cadet La Porte, in complete disregard for his own safety, unhesitatingly charged the shooter . . . drawing heavy fire at close range and sustaining seven gunshot wounds,” Gay read. “He sacrificed his own life in an attempt to save others.”

Six people made it out of that classroom that morning. Six people that could have been killed had La Porte not done such a courageous and selfless act. Matthew La Porte is a true hero. God bless him, his family, and all those who had to suffer through this tragedy.

[via Washington Post]


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