Orlando shootings bring painful memories for Blacksburg

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BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - The Orlando shooting is a difficult reminder for the Blacksburg community of what dealing with extensive loss of life can be like.

Blacksburg and Virginia Tech police chaplain Tommy McDearis had to deliver 21 death notifications on April 16, 2007.

McDearis said as he has watched news reports out of Orlando, he can readily see the same pain and grief he saw on so many faces that day.

"It was one of the mothers on tv begging for information about her son," McDearis said. "We had exactly the same thing happen at the Inn at Virginia Tech, and you couldn't tell anyone until you had everyone identified. It was miserable watching their misery."

Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam said in order for a community to heal after something like this, it is important to come together and allow people the opportunity to talk about what happened.