VT Press Conference Gives Details on Shooting

Reporter: David Tate

Blacksburg, VA - VT campus police and Virginia State Police officials held a press conference Friday morning about the Virginia Tech campus shooting that left a police officer dead. The shooter was found dead after he killed himself.

State police say the gunman who killed himself at VT had no connection with the campus police officer who was killed. Officials say the shooter acted alone in the slaying.

Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for Virginia State Police, said authorities do not believe there was any connection between the shooter and Officer Deriek Crouse.

She says the gunman ran from the scene and changed clothes before killing himself in a parking lot a half-mile away Thursday.

Geller says investigators won't release the name of the victim until the medical examiner confirms the ID and next of kin are notified.

The man was later found by an officer in the campus parking lot with self-inflicted gun wounds. Geller said the gunman put his clothes in a backpack and left it behind at a greenhouse on campus.

Investigators are still trying to find out why the gunman ambushed Crouse, but they say they think the shooting is likely connected to the Radford carjacking earlier this week.

University officials and police also commented on the community's response to the shooting, thanking the police for their work. They say more than 100 officers were on the scene Thursday, from several agencies including state police.

The vice president for university relations and the Virginia Tech Police Chief called VT resilient, saying it is a tight knit community.

They went to say losing Crouse was a tremendous loss to the department.

During this speech, Larry Hincker, the VP for university relations, got a little choked up. He said his heart goes out to the victims and said he was deeply pained by the loss.

Officials say local agencies as well as state police units will be on campus on patrol to lend extra support during this difficult time.

"Our heart goes out to them because we are deeply pained by their loss, so please be thinking about our police department and officer Crouse," said Hincker.

Police say ballistics tests have confirmed that a Virginia Tech police officer and a man suspected in his slaying were shot by the same handgun. They say the gunman was not a student.

Officer Deriek Crouse was 39-year old father of five children and stepchildren and had been on the force just four years.

University memorials have set up a memorial fund to support the needs of the family of Crouse.

People who want to contribute can mail checks, payable to "Deriek Crouse Memorial Fund," to:

National Bank of Blacksburg
Attn: Dana Sutphin
P.O. Box 90002
Blacksburg, VA 24062-9002

Those seeking more information about the fund should call 540-552-2011 and ask to speak with Dana Sutphin, branch manager.