Source AP ©

Israeli lecturer among those killed in massacre at Virginia university

An Israeli lecturer who died in the massacre at a U.S. university saved the lives of several students by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman before he was fatally shot, his son said Tuesday.

Students of Liviu Librescu, 75, an engineering science and mathematics lecturer in at Virginia Tech for 20 years, sent e-mails to his wife, Marlena, telling of how he blocked the gunman's way and saved their lives, said the son, Joe.

"My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu said in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. "Students started opening windows and jumping out."

Liviu Librescu, was respected in his field, his son said.

"His work was his life in a sense," Joe Librescu said. "That was a good place for him to practice his research."

The couple immigrated to Israel from Romania in 1978 and then moved to Virginia in 1985 for his sabbatical, but had stayed since then, said Joe Librescu, who himself studied at the school from 1989 to 1994.

In Monday's massacre, a gunman killed 32 people at the Virginia university before committing suicide. It was the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

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