A police officer was shot and killed on the Virginia Tech campus along with a second victim Thursday. By late afternoon the university was taken off of lockdown and according to Virginia State Police, a gun was found near the second victim. With circumstances unclear, authorities did not immediately say if the second victim was the shooter.
The New York Times reported that the police officer shot was Deriek W. Crouse, 39, of Christiansburg, Va.
In a statement, police said the incident took place when a police officer made a traffic stop in a university parking lot. A person not related to the traffic stop approached the car and shot the police officer. Witnesses said the suspect fled on foot toward a parking lot where the second victim was found dead.
“The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation out of Salem are currently at both crime scenes. Also, our tact team, canine units, and patrol are currently on the Virginia Tech campus assisting the Virginia Tech Police Department,” the statement said. “We are in the early stages of the investigation, and we donâ€™t have any additional details at this time.”
Students were moved to a secure room in the school’s student center, and SWAT arrived on the scene.
“In case anyone is curious, I’m locked inside a room right next to performing arts. Honestly, never been this scared,” said Kelsey Starr a news reporter for the Collegiate Times on her Twitter during the incident.
In 2007, Virginia Tech was the scene of a shooting where 33 people were slain.
At about 6:30 p.m. Thursday CSU President Tony Frank sent an email to the university expressing condolences to Virginia Tech.
“Our hearts go out to our colleagues and friends at Virginia Tech tonight as they cope with the tragedy there this afternoon,” the email said. “As always, the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of CSU stand ready to offer whatever support and comfort we can to the VT campus, and especially to the family and friends of the officer who was shot.”
In his email, Frank went on to describe safety resources on the CSU campus.
“Be safe, take care of each other, and take time today to thank our CSU police officers for all they do,” Frank said.
News Editor Matt Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.