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Virginia Tech shooting changes future for former FBI agent: ‘This is where I want to be’

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- The events of April 16, 2007 not only changed the Virginia Tech community forever, but it also changed the future of an FBI agent.

During a shooting rampage, Seung Wei Cho shot and killed 32 people on Virginia Tech’s campus.

Kevin Foust was an FBI agent when the mass shooting happened 10 years ago.

He says that day, he and his fellow agents offered whatever resources the FBI could to help.

It was in the course of the investigation into the shootings that Foust said he knew his future was in Blacksburg.

Foust said the way the community came together to support each other, the victims, and their families made a lasting impression on him.

“This was a case that should have torn this place apart. But it didn't. It made Virginia Tech an even stronger place,” Foust told affiliate WGHP.

He said he was so affected by the community, that he retired from the FBI in 2011 and joined the Virginia Tech Police Department.

“I knew the Hokie Nation was a real thing and the first opportunity I had to retire from the federal service I said this is where I want to be,” he said.

Three years ago Foust was appointed chief of police and director of security at Virginia Tech.

Chief Kevin Foust

Foust said that even before that day in 2007, Virginia Tech had been working on an emergency notification system. After the tragic shootings, many companies took the research the Hokies had done and built on it.

He said the alert systems you see on campuses today are the result of that work.

Virginia tech's campus spans more than 2600 acres, and Foust says providing safety and security for the more than 35,000 students and staff is a big deal.

He said his department and the community continues to work together on a number of initiatives to make Virginia Tech feel like home for everyone.

Police officers reflect on Virginia Tech shooting, 10 years later