Police Confirm Both Deaths Related in Virginia Tech Shooting
Blacksburg, VA- State police say ballistics testing has linked Thursday's two fatal shootings. Testing shows both victims were shot by the same gun.
Officer Deriek W. Crouse was shot dead in his patrol car while working a routine traffic stop across from Cassell Colesium.
The 39-year old father of five children and stepchildren had been on the force just four years.
The campus is still in a state of shock over Thursday's incident.
"It almost hasn't sunk in yet that somebody was on our campus and killed a police officer," said Nicholas Pierson a freshman at Virginia Tech.
"Still trying to kind of grasp it. It's kind of difficult to understand," said Megan Crawford, a freshman.
Thursday around 12:15 p.m., officials say Virginia Tech patrol officer Crouse was conducting a routine traffic stop.
A few minutes later, fear struck Virginia Tech's campus.
"We get told that we have to leave the room because police are searching all the rooms and SWATS outside with M16s and bullet proof vests and all kinds of stuff. It was really hectic at the time," said Pierson.
"I was like please don't let many people be even injured. I didn't want anyone to get hurt. It's just a tragedy," said Crawford.
Officials say Crouse was approached by a third party and shot. A short while later, a police officer passed by a suspicious man in that parking lot.
By the time the officer turned around to confront him, the man was dead. Police believe he was the shooter. A firearm was recovered nearby.
Officials still don't know the motive for the shooting.
Tech officials and students like Miller credit the new campus alert system.
"The campus community is asked to shelter in place, stay where they are, lock their doors and visitors are being asked not to come to campus," said Mark Owczarski, a Virginia Tech spokesperson.
Technology sources like Facebook for keeping this community informed and safe. But students we spoke with say one death is still one too many.
"Just knowing that someone is gone forever because someone took their life," said a student.
"You lose any member of your community, it's horrible."