"You can look around and see people looking around, groups forming to talk," said Hockersmith. "People were panicking because there wasn't a lot of information. They didn't know how many people were dead."
Although Virginia Tech was criticized for its response to the 2007 shooting, Hockersmith said he felt the school greatly improved their response this time.
"I think it's definitely been a lot safer. I feel like this time around you know more what happened," said Hockersmith. "[There's] been a much larger police presence since then."
Although Hockersmith's older brother was a student at VT during the 2007 rampage, Hockersmith said he always felt safe while at the school.
"I always thought Virginia Tech was the safest campus," he said. "It's hard to go a block or two without seeing a cop car or a cop and bike, and you just know that everyone is looking out for you. It's just a shock that it happened again."