Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is a NON-PROFIT website

Hero Student Barricades Door, Saves Lives

Zach Petkewicz
Zack Petkewicz

by Kevin Caruso

April 17, 2007

Zach Petkewicz was in a classroom with 10 other students when the massacre began. They heard loud sounds but did not know what was happening, but when a woman down the hall screamed, some girls in the class cracked the door as saw the gunman.

They immediately slammed the door shut and told the others in the class.

“Everybody kind of went into a frenzy, a panic” said Petkewicz. “I hid behind the podium and then just kind of looked up at the door. Like, there's nothing stopping this guy from just coming in. And so I said, ‘We need to barricade this door.’”

“I was completely scared out of my mind,” he continued. “Originally, just went into a cowering position, and then just realized you have got to do something.”

Petkewicz and two other students pushed a table against the door and held it in place while gunfire continued to ring out.

“He came to our door, tried the handle and couldn't get in because we were pushing up against it – and tried to force his way in and got the door to open up about 6 inches – and then we just lunged at it and closed it back up and that's when he backed up and shot twice into the middle of the door, thinking we were up against it trying to get him out.”

But Petkewicz said that they were actually to the side the door, out of harms way.

“I just heard his clip drop to the ground, and he reloaded and I thought he was coming back for a second round to try to get his way in there. He didn't say a word, and he just turned and kept firing down the hall and didn't try to get back in.”

Several classmates had already called 911 and were informed that police were on the way.

“I could hear police shouting all around the building. They were there really fast. It was just a matter of getting up and getting to us and getting this guy out of the picture.”

None of the 11 students were injured.

Zach Petkewicz is a hero of the highest order.

God bless you Zach.


Please visit and honor
the angels we lost:

If you or someone you know is suicidal because of the massacre,
please click below for immediate help: