Police: 2 people wanted for beating death of ODU student

NORFOLK (WVEC) -- Police are looking for two people they believe are responsible for the death of an Old Dominion University student Sunday.

Officers have warrants on file for 21-year-old David William Grimm, Jr. and 20-year-old Christopher Chase Johnson. Grimm is wanted for 2nd degree murder; Johnson faces a charge of misdemeanor assault.

Police said someone hit 20-year-old Paul Johnson in the head while he was walking along West 48th Street, off Hampton Boulevard about 1 a.m.

Paramedics took Johnson, an Old Dominion University sophomore, to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. He died at 2:26 p.m.

"It's a shame when really nice people go," said a neighbor of Paul Johnson, who asked to remain anonymous. "What happened to him happened less than maybe a hundred yards from his home, and that really hits close to home seeing as I live there."

ODU senior Joey Thiel said he and Johnson were close.

"I've been concerned for safety at Old Dominion for awhile. I mean, there's not nearly enough security cameras, there's not enough lighting, there's just not enough security emphasis, especially when you're considering the growth rate of the school."

Police ask anyone with information about where either is, or anyone who may have witnessed the alleged crime, to call Norfolk Police Department Homicide Section at 664-7023, Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP, or the Old Dominion University Police Department at 683-4000.

Sunday night, University President John R. Broderick wrote:

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

It is with great sadness that I update you on the ODU Safety Timely Warning that was sent early this morning. The injured student, Paul Johnson, a sophomore majoring in mathematics, passed away this afternoon. We are all outraged by this senseless tragedy and I know you join me in sending your heartfelt condolences to Paul's family and friends.

The Norfolk Police are investigating Paul's death, and Old Dominion University and its Police Department have pledged every available resource to assist them. Earlier today, I and members of the university administration met with the Norfolk City Manager and Chief of Police, who promised to devote additional police resources to this investigation and to engage in further dialogue with the university community about safety issues and concerns.

We are dedicated to providing support to Paul's friends and classmates. Old Dominion's Counseling Center professionals are available for students, faculty, and staff who are having difficulty. Please call them at 757-683-4401. Remember to also look after your friends and colleagues and reach out to them if they appear to need help.

The Old Dominion community has always been one of compassion and solidarity. Now more than ever, those traits that keep our community strong will help to see us through.


John R. Broderick



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