Swedish students speak about Virginia Tech attacks

A number of Swedish students were on campus at the time of the bloody attacks at Virginia Tech that left 33 dead.

Arvid Puranen, a 22-year-old Swede, has been studying at the college for the last three and a half years.

“Everyone here is shocked. You never think that something like this can happen,” Puranen told Svenska Dagbladet.

Puranen said he stepped off a bus at around the time of the second incident, which was taking place just 150 metres away.

“There were very few people around since there had already been warnings after the first shootings. But there were no police or closed off areas,” he said.

Two students from Blekinge Technical College, Martin Arvebro and Carl Nordin, arrived at Virginia Tech on Sunday for a one-week exchange. It was only when they had left campus on Monday that they found out the extent of what had happened.

“First I saw a police car and an ambulance when we came out of the building next door. I didn’t hear any shots.

“First it felt like a drill when people were running out. Someone said that people had injured themselves jumping out but we didn’t really know.

“Then a professor came out who had been shot in the arm and there was someone on a stretcher who was covered in blood,” Martin Arvebro, 27, told Dagens Nyheter.

“We were walking around and looking at the campus. We were just about to pass Norris Hall on the way to our hotel but police led us to a building in the opposite direction and then we were able to leave campus,” he added.

Kenneth Granlund, a doctoral student from Bålsta, was on campus at the time of the shootings.

“I was sitting in a weekly meeting with my research group when we heard that one person had been killed and another injured in a shooting at the school,” he told Dagens Nyheter.

“We were told to stay indoors and police quickly surrounded the entire campus. We followed the events on local TV news. It was not until around 12.30 that we found out that there many more people who had died,” Granlund added.