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Blacksburg community reacts to recent shooting


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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) – At the Melody Hookah Lounge, people have been dropping by all Saturday, taking photos and expressing how shocked they are that another fatal shooting has occurred in this community.

“One of my roommates told us he was there,” said Tyler Swain and Zachary Sanders, both Virginia Tech students.

Swain and Sanders say they were enjoying a typical Friday night of fun and relaxation in their dorm, playing video games.

Then, suddenly, the two students’ phones started exploding with alerts.

The alerts were to inform students of a shooting that had just occurred at the Melody Hookah Lounge on North Main Street, which left four injured and one dead.

For Swain and Sanders, the news was very concerning because one of their friends was in town that night.

The second year students were not alone. Many parents were also worried about the safety of their children.

“We would come to campus and call our daughter because we were supposed to meet her,” said Larry Budnik, parent of a Virginia Tech student.

Larry and Kelly Budnik couldn’t help but think back to the 2007 mass shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech.

“It’s kind of scary because the shooter at the time was in my daughter’s dorm,” Kelly Budnik said.

It was also a scary night for Eric Bissey, owner of Nice Dreams – just two doors down from the Melody Hookah Lounge. He heard about the deadly gunshots a few hours later and went to check his store.

“I was wondering if they shot through walls in my business,” Bissey said.

Bissey’s business suffered no damage and thankfully Larry and Kelly’s daughter and Tyler and Zachary’s roommate were all safe.