O'Neil was a graduate student in engineering. He played guitar and wrote his own songs, which he posted on a website, www.residenthippy.com.
Friend Steve Craveiro described him as smart, responsible and a hard worker, someone who never got into trouble. "He would come home from school over the summer and talk about projects, about building bridges and stuff like that," Craveiro said. "He loved his family. He was pretty much destined to be extremely successful. He just didn't deserve to have happen what happened."
O'Neil graduated in 2002 from Lincoln High School in Rhode Island and graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., before heading to Virginia Tech, where he also was a teaching assistant, Craveiro said.
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