Coimbatore: Virginia Tech University Professor G V Loganathan's death on Monday has left his family reeling.
Loganathan of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was teaching in a class in the Norris Hall – one of the crime scenes – when the gunman went on rampage and claimed 33 lives.
Loganathan's 78-year-old father fainted on hearing the shocking news of his death, and his 72-year-old mother, Kannammal is unable to understand why her eldest son had to pay with his life.
"He was a wonderful son to me. He was the pillar of our family. It's a great shock and we are unable to recover from it," says Kannamaal.
Loganathan, who was a diligent student and an achiever, passed out of PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore with a Civil Engineering degree.
He later went to IIT Kanpur and then to Purdue University to complete his PhD. He had a brief stint as a lecturer in Ohio University and finally went to Virginia Tech where he said he had found his calling.
Loganathan used to joke to his family saying he wanted to be buried in the university campus but it was wish that fate granted with a cruel twist.
“An innocent man has been killed, this shouldn't happen to anyone else,” says Loganathan's brother, GV Palanivel.
Even as Professor Loganathan's family awaits a reaction from the Indian government, an official from the Ministry of External Affairs is expected to meet the grieving family.
His friends are still trying to come to terms with the loss.
“It is very unfortunate that Loganathan got caught in the firing and succumbed to his injuries,” says Director, IIT Kanpur, Sanjay G Dhande.
US president George Bush has also expressed shock at the incident.
"We will help local forces and local authorities in any way we can in this time of sorrow,” says Bush.
Loganathan is survived by his wife Usha and two daughters in Virginia.