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Virginia Tech: Slain Campus Officer Identified, Suspect Still Unnamed

9:49 PM, Dec 8, 2011   |    comments
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  • Deriek Crouse of Christianburg was Virginia Tech campus police officer
  • This is a picture of the scene from Twitter posted by Lerone Graham (Lerone Graham/From Twitter)
  • SWAT team checking dorm. (Taylor Riley)
  • alert on Virginia Tech website (www.vt.edu)
    

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WUSA) -- Virginia Tech Police have identified the officer murdered Thursday during a traffic stop on the campus of Virginia Tech as Deriek W. Crouse, 39, of Christiansburg. He joined the Virginia Tech Police Department on Oct. 27, 2007, and served in the patrol division. He is survived by his wife, five children and step-children, and his mother and brother.

He received his law enforcement certification on Feb. 12, 2008, from the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy. Officer Crouse was trained as a Crisis Intervention Officer, General Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Defensive Tactics instructor and most recently completed training for Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response and Mechanical and Ballistic Instructor.

Crouse was a member of the Virginia Tech Police Emergency Response Team since February 2011. He received an award in 2008 for his commitment to the department's Driving Under the Influence efforts.
He formerly worked at the New River Valley Jail, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, and was a U.S. Army veteran.

Funeral arrangements will be announced at later date.

Police say that Crouse was conducting a "routine traffic stop" at Virginia Tech, when a separate person, not the person in the car, walked up to the officer, then shot and killed him just after noon on Thursday. 

The person who shot the officer, ran to another location, where he made contact with another police officer. The officer saw the person alive at first, then, police say, he the suspect was reported to be dead. 

PHOTOS FROM VA TECH SHOOTING SCENE

Police say the officer at the second scene did not shoot the suspect. However, they are not saying the suspect shot himself either, saying they don't want to "disrupt the investigation." 

Law enforcement agencies have determined there is no longer an active threat on the Virginia Tech campus. Faculty, staff and students are asked to resume normal activities, according to the school's website. 

Police remained on the scene of the shootings that killed two people Thursday afternoon. A weapon has been recovered at the location of the second death, an unknown male found near Duck Pond. Reports of any additional shots being fired or victims are unfounded at this time.

A rest area on Interstate 81 northbound near exit 107 at Radford had been closed by Virginia State Police following the shootings at Virginia Tech. The rest stop is near Virginia Tech campus. They got a report of suspicious activity there, it proved to be an unfounded rumor. 

Virginia Tech says in a statement that a Virginia Tech police officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop in the Coliseum parking lot near McComas Hall. Another person was also found dead.

Witnesses reported that the gunman fled toward the Cage parking lot near Duck Pond Drive, where a second person was found dead, reports WDBJ.

Virginia Tech says that exams scheduled for Friday have been postponed. According to a school alert, "A decision regarding the final exam schedule will be made as soon as we have more information. All information will be send via campus wide email and posted to the university homepage."

Gun shots were initially reported at the Coliseum parking lot. The school had an alert on their website, which said authorities are looking for a suspect described as a white male, wearing gray sweat pants, a gray hat with a neon green brim, maroon hoodie and a backpack. It also said the suspect was on foot and headed towards McComas Hall, the main gym on campus which is about two blocks from Lane Stadium.

IF YOU HAVE FAMILY AT VIRGINIA TECH, here's the hotline: (540) 231-3787

A campus wide alert at 12:36 p.m. read: "Gun shots reported- Coliseum Parking lot. Stay Inside. Secure doors. Emergency personnel responding. Call 911 for help."

The school has been placed on lockdown. Virginia Tech officials say visitors should NOT come to campus at this time.

WDBJ reported around 2:18 p.m. that Montgomery County Schools (in Virginia) are also on a lockdown.

Virginia Tech's official Facebook page says that reports of more gunshots and suspicious activity on campus are unfounded.

Virginia State Police are now in charge of the investigation, according to a news release.

WSLSVirginia Tech alert of possible gun shots on campus

WDBJ: Police officer shot on campus at Virginia Tech

USA TODAY: Complete coverage of shooting at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is appealing a $55,000 fine by the Education Department today in connection with the university's response to a 2007 rampage that left 33 people dead, including the gunman.

Gov. Bob McDonnell has issued the following statement:

"I am deeply saddened by today's news of another tragedy affecting the Virginia Tech community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those impacted by these shootings. Since this news first broke we have been monitoring the situation closely and I have made available all requested state resources to Virginia Tech, including the Virginia State Police. I have also spoken to Virginia Tech President Charles Steger earlier this afternoon. 

I want to thank the multiple law enforcement agencies and all of the officers for their speedy response and focus during this difficult time. I also want to commend Virginia Tech leadership, students, faculty and staff who cooperated to efficiently respond to this emergency.

While we will await the completion of the initial investigation of this incident before commenting further, I want to again offer our continued support to all of those impacted by this tragedy. Virginia Tech is a university of great resolve, and I have no doubt that the students, alumni and faculty of this proud institution will emerge from this sad day stronger and more united than ever before. There will continue to be needs in the days ahead as we move forward from this situation and I will ensure that those needs are met completely and fully by the Commonwealth."

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