Police seek motive for shootings on Virginia Tech campus

Dec. 12, 2011
Part-time student from another university guns down officer, then takes his own life.

UPDATE...from The Washington Post: Police have identified Ross Ashley, a 22-year-old part-time student at Radford University in Radford, Va., as as the gunman who shot Virginia Tech Police Officer Deriek W. Crouse, 39, as he sat in an unmarked squad car in a parking lot on the Blacksburg campus. Ashley subsequently took his own life. The shooting prompted a nearly four-hour-long lockdown at Tech and drudged up painful memories of the 2007 campus massacre that claimed 33 lives.

From The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia State Police say that both the police officer and the deceased suspect in Thursday's shootings at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg were shot with the same handgun, which was found near the suspect's body. The suspect's name will not be released until next of kin are notified, but he was not a Virginia Tech student, she said. Authorities say they still don't know what the suspect's motive was, and they are investigating whether officer Deriek W. Crouse was specifically targeted. He was shot while sitting inside his patrol car.


Video from The Associated Press:

REACTION...from USA Today: Official warning of deadly shootings on the Virginia Tech campus was far swifter than the flat-footed response the school was accused of after a 2007 shooting rampage.

From the Virginia Tech web site: Law enforcement agencies have determined there is no longer an active threat or need to secure in place. Resume normal activities. Virginia State Police and Virginia Tech Police remain on the scene of an officer-involved shooting on the Virginia Tech campus. At this time there are two confirmed deaths. One is a Virginia Tech Police Officer. The second is an unknown male subject who was found deceased in a parking lot near the Duck Pond. A weapon has been recovered at the location of the second individual. Reports of any additional shots being fired or any additional victims are unfounded.

From The Richmond Times-Dispatch: A police officer and another person have been shot to death on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg. A law enforcement official says the shooting apparently occurred following a traffic stop. A campus-wide alert warned students and faculty to stay inside and lock doors. The campus is where 33 people died in 2007 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

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Mike Kennedy has written for AS&U since 1999.

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