From tragedy, a triumph: Virginia Tech survivor wears ring on finger hit by bullet

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Eight years ago, the Virginia Tech community was shattered by a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 32 people and injured 17 more. One of the 17 survivors was Katelyn Carney, a then-junior international business major who was in German class when Seung-Hui Cho entered the classroom and began shooting. Katelyn covered her head with her hands and was shot in her left ring finger, but was otherwise physically unhurt. Several of her classmates were not as fortunate.

Later that fall, we caught up with Katelyn before the Hokies first football game of the 2007 season, a home game against East Carolina. Our interview was set up through Katelyn's sister Amy, a CBS 6 staffer at the time. Katelyn spoke to us near the memorial to the 32 victims which she said she visited "every day."

"The reason that these stones are here today is for us to be able to memorialize them at Blacksburg together, in one place, on your way to class, on your way home," Carney said that day. "I believe that 32 lives were taken that day because one was lost."

Carney cut her summer break short that year because she wanted to be back with the Virginia Tech community as soon as possible entering the fall semester. The Hokies did win that game, further bringing a sense of normalcy for a campus and community which had been lacking since that April day.

In our story, we referenced Katelyn's injured finger as one that she hoped would wear an engagement or wedding ring one day. And today, it does.

Virginia Tech ring

Carney got engaged to Justin Cortez over the Christmas holiday and the two are planning an August wedding. Now when she looks at her left ring finger, she has more to remember and think about than April 16, 2007. We wish Katelyn and Justin all the happiness in the world!