Columbia County man among slain

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A college student from Columbia County was among the dead Monday on the Virginia Tech campus.

Ryan Clark: 2002 graduate of Lakeside High was set to graduate from Virginia Tech next month.  Special
Special
Ryan Clark: 2002 graduate of Lakeside High was set to graduate from Virginia Tech next month.

Ryan Clark, 22, the son of Stan and Letitie Clark of Old Petersburg Road in Martinez, was fatally shot, said Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins.

The victim was just one month from graduation, his twin brother, Bryan, said in a telephone interview. A 2002 graduate of Lakeside High School, Ryan Clark was a band member both there and at Virginia Tech.

Authorities have said the incident, which involved at least 32 deaths, began Monday morning at West Ambler Johnston, a coed dormitory that houses 895 people, according to an Associated Press report.

Bryan Clark said his brother was the resident adviser on the fourth floor of the dormitory.

Mr. Clark said his brother was a triple graduate in psychology, biology and English at Virginia Tech and remained at the school in anticipation of graduation ceremonies next month.

"He was staying just until we could come to graduation," he said. "Just wrong place, wrong time, I guess."

Mr. Clark said he hasn't heard a motive for the shooting.

Ryan Clark, nicknamed "Stack," was in his fifth year in the Marching Virginians at Virginia Tech, serving as its personnel officer, according to the band's Web site.

The site states that Ryan also was a member of the Circle K club and after graduating had intended to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology with a focus in cognitive neuroscience.

Bryan Clark said his brother was active in college life at Virginia Tech.

"He didn't really come out of his shell until he got to Virginia," he said.

In Columbia County, friends reacted to the news.

"Ryan was the most active, humorous, kind and gentle friend that I could have," said friend Candace M. Lawson, adding, "He will be missed always."

Mr. Collins said an autopsy on Mr. Clark will be conducted by a medical examiner in Roanoke, Va.

"I'm sure it's going to take two or three days, as many casualties that they have, to do autopsies on each one," Mr. Collins said. The body should then be returned to the family in Columbia County, he said.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (130) Add comment
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ANGEL
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ANGEL 04/17/07 - 06:00 am
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My thoughts and prayers go

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this young man along with the rest of the people that were killed. I just do not understand what is going on in the world today and it seems that no real place is safe anymore.

jlmat
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jlmat 04/17/07 - 06:27 am
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We are praying for Ryan's

We are praying for Ryan's family, there are no words that will take away their pain. He is surely a guardian angel that will now watch over them and hopefully in time help them heal. Please pray for all of the families of this terrible tragedy.

nrah64
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nrah64 04/17/07 - 06:47 am
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It is with great sadness that

It is with great sadness that our country deals with this tragedy that has occurred at Virginia Tech. Our prayers and condolences go out to the Ryan family and other victim's families as well as the community of VT.

juantez
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juantez 04/17/07 - 07:04 am
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Our prayers go out to the
Unpublished

Our prayers go out to the family.

handoff57
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handoff57 04/17/07 - 07:06 am
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I can't express how much it

I can't express how much it hurts me to read about Ryan. I never knew him, but he seems as though to have had a lot going for him. I have no kids, but can only imagine what this feels like, it hurts me greatly just to hear of it.
My wife and I will keep the Clarks in our prayers. Only time will bring back the good memories.
God Bless,

stillamazed
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stillamazed 04/17/07 - 07:21 am
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Prayers go out to the Clark

Prayers go out to the Clark family. What a shamed for such an intelligent and ambitious young man to be taken this way. Far to often we hear about young black men especially who go out and commit crimes but here was a young black man with goals in his life trying to be somebody and now that opportunity is gone forever. God bless everyone who lost a loved one due to this tragedy

TEDDY1
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TEDDY1 04/17/07 - 07:25 am
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please pray for all of the

please pray for all of the families in this terrible tragedy...god bless ryan

lazeeday
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lazeeday 04/17/07 - 07:36 am
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My sympathy to the Clark

My sympathy to the Clark family.My prayers to each family member and friends of Ryan.

deuces
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deuces 04/17/07 - 07:45 am
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god bless

god bless

shelmer37
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shelmer37 04/17/07 - 07:50 am
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My heartfelt condolences go

My heartfelt condolences go to the Clark family. As I former citizen of Augusta, I was saddened to see the VT tragedy hit so close to home. It is a shame that Ryan had to pass in such an untimely manner, but I hope his family can take pride in the fact that their son and brother died a hero.

education
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education 04/17/07 - 07:58 am
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My prayers go out to the

My prayers go out to the Clark Family.

deni58
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deni58 04/17/07 - 07:59 am
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Such a tragedy when stupidity

Such a tragedy when stupidity wins in a situation like this. A fine young man that had much to offer to society ....sigh. My prayers to the Clark family and all the other burdened families that have to deal with the grief of such nonsense that shouldn't even exist. May God bless you all!

smbga
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smbga 04/17/07 - 08:03 am
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Sad to say that this kind of

Sad to say that this kind of tragedy will continue to repeat itself. I hurt for all the families involved. So sad.

shane1006
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shane1006 04/17/07 - 08:09 am
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My deepest sympathy to the

My deepest sympathy to the Clark family, prayers of peace are for you and yours. I have experienced the unthinkable tragedy of losing a son, and realize the horrific pain in your heart today. May God bless you and comfort your souls as you lean on him.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:15

juicy101
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juicy101 04/17/07 - 08:12 am
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Read this tragic story while

Read this tragic story while the previews for violent movies show on the upper right corner...says it all about our violent society...when will we change?????

mommato2
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mommato2 04/17/07 - 08:15 am
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My prayers are with the Clark

My prayers are with the Clark family as well as the other families that had to go through this horrible tragedy.

Additional Info
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Additional Info 04/17/07 - 08:27 am
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This event is one more to

This event is one more to prove that we are living in the "last days" (2 Tim. 3:1-5). The Bible explains why we are seeing such horrible things now and what Jehovah God will do to in the future to correct matters. He will clean up the earth (Ps. 37: 9-11, 29) and resurrect the loved ones we have lost (John 5:28,29). Until then, may we draw comfort from these promises. (Rev 21:3,4)
We are all saddened and even angry at times when such terrible things take away our peace, yet we are helpless to solve the many problems in this world. It is comforting to know that our loving creator feels the same as we do, but unlike us, He can and will correct all matters.

All About Me
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All About Me 04/17/07 - 08:28 am
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My prayers are with the Clark

My prayers are with the Clark family and all those who have loved ones injured, or lost by such a horrible tragedy. I also feel for the family of who ever is responsible. May those affected by this tragedy find it in their hearts to one day forgive this person.

backvalley
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backvalley 04/17/07 - 08:29 am
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Words cannot express the

Words cannot express the sadness I feel for this family.

truthbknown
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truthbknown 04/17/07 - 08:34 am
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I have always heard only the

I have always heard only the good die young. My prayers go to the Clark Family. It breaks my heart to see a driven young man lose his life , he had so much to offer .. Mr and Mrs Clark and family, My mind and heart will be you in the following days....
GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!

jennjenn
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jennjenn 04/17/07 - 08:35 am
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Our thoughts and prayers are

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Clark family and all that had to go through this useless tragedy. We pray for a peace that passes all of your understanding during this difficult time. May God bless you and keep you in the days ahead.

WW1949
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WW1949 04/17/07 - 08:37 am
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What a tragic loss of a fine

What a tragic loss of a fine looking young man. My sympathy to the family as tears roll down my face. God Bless all of them that died and their families.

asustudent75
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asustudent75 04/17/07 - 08:47 am
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God bless the Clark family.

God bless the Clark family. My prayers are with you.

jjr7838
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jjr7838 04/17/07 - 08:48 am
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Ecclesiastes 9:11 is the

Ecclesiastes 9:11 is the reason why this happened. Doesn't make it hurt any less.

pdbrawner
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pdbrawner 04/17/07 - 08:52 am
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As a parent of a college

As a parent of a college student, I cannot begin to imagine how devastated the family of this young man must be. My prayers and thoghts are with then. I will continually pray for their healing and healing for the rest of the families affected by this terrible tragedy.

khearne
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khearne 04/17/07 - 08:56 am
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My thoughts and Prayers go

My thoughts and Prayers go out to you all - There are no words that will comfort you - there are no actions that will make it all better. Just know I care and am here if you need me -- Ma'Mere

burkhalter
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burkhalter 04/17/07 - 09:01 am
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I heard classmates at

I heard classmates at Virginia Tech talking about "Stack" on CNN news this morning. All the students said such wonderful things about him. You could tell by the way they were describing him, he was well loved and respected on campus by his peers. They said they each looked up to him because of his desire to always help others. One example was him volunteering to help with 'Habitat for Humanity.' He sounded like he was a very ambitious young man, so full of life, and had such a promising future ahead of him. My prayers, sympathy, and condolences go out to "Stack's" family and loved ones. Unfortunately, I personally did not have the privilege or honor to meet this bright young man. But, I do want you to know you have precious memories to always cherish of him - no one can ever take that away... You are all in my thoughts and prayers. God will get you through---lean on Him.

gaonmimynd
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gaonmimynd 04/17/07 - 09:03 am
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My sympathy to the Clark

My sympathy to the Clark family.....and all the other familys and friends involved on this total waste of our young peoples lives. The only good thing, is that they are with Our Lord, safe in his hands never to be hurt or wronged again.
God Speed to you all.

dthompson
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dthompson 04/17/07 - 09:09 am
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My deepest sympathy to the

My deepest sympathy to the Clark family. My heart truly hurts for you even though I am a stranger to your family. However, I have children and I know how precious their lives are. I will pray for your strength and may you feel the presence of God with you.

Brownthrasher
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Brownthrasher 04/17/07 - 09:13 am
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As a parent you wish nothing

As a parent you wish nothing but to see your children grow, graduate and make a life for themselves. Having experienced the tragedy of losing a som to a stranger's bullet, I can assure you that there is no pain greater than the loss of a child, especially one with so much promise. My son was two months from graduating high school and just accepted to college when a stranger's bullet took his life. It's a devasting pain and a tremendous loss. You will need to love of friends, the support of families, the faith of God and a willed determination to cope. My prayers are with Ryan's family, especially his mother. May the peace of God and the love of all who have witnessed this tragedy be a comfort to you all.

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