Police link fatal shootings on Virginia Tech campus

Fri Dec 9, 2011 8:43am EST

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* Police awaiting confirmation of second man's identity

* Shooting evoked memory of 2007 rampage

* Slain officer joined Virginia Tech police force in 2007

By Rick Rothacker

BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec 9 (Reuters) - The weapon used to kill a Virginia Tech police officer also was used to shoot a second man found dead on campus, Virginia State Police said on Friday.

Police said ballistics testing officially linked the two shootings, which prompted a lockdown of the campus on Thursday and revived memories of a gunman's 2007 rampage that left 33 people dead in one of the worst shooting incidents in U.S. history.

Police have not said whether the second unidentified man is the person who shot and killed Virginia Tech police officer Deriek W. Crouse, 39, during a traffic stop on Thursday. But they said a handgun was found near the second man's body, which was discovered about a half a mile/0.8 km away from the first shooting, appearing to support media accounts that the man shot himself as police approached.

Virginia Tech lifted the lockdown Thursday afternoon and said students could resume normal activities.

Shortly after noon/1300 GMT on Thursday, Crouse had a vehicle stopped in a campus parking lot when he was approached by an unknown man and fatally shot, police said. The man then fled.

About 30 minutes later a Montgomery County sheriff's deputy saw a man in a nearby parking lot. When the deputy reached the man, he found him dead on the ground with a handgun nearby. Police said they were still awaiting confirmation of the man's identity.

Police later recovered a discarded backpack on campus with clothing inside that was similar to that worn by the man seen in video taken by Crouse's patrol car.

Crouse joined the Virginia Tech police department in October 2007 and is survived by his wife, five children and step-children, and his mother and brother.

The incident evoked grim memories of April 2007 when a mentally deranged student killed 32 people and wounded 25 before committing suicide on campus about 250 miles/400 km southwest of Washington. It was the deadliest attack by a single gunman in U.S. history.

A candlelight vigil has been planned for Friday night near the memorial for the victims of the 2007 shooting.

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Comments (2)
USAPragmatist wrote:
When are people going to realize why we have some much gun violence in this country compared to other? Is it because we as a people are more violent? I would hope not, the only other explanation would be our easy access to guns. I am all for the 2nd amendment, to quote it “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” But an INDIVIDUAL owning a gun is NOT a Militia. This was written back in the day of muskets and hand cannons, not AR-15 and Glocks with 30 shot clips. The Constitution was written to be a ‘fluid’ document, maybe since all the righties are calling for changing just to deal with their spending habits (Balanced Budget Amendment), maybe us reasonable people should propose an amendment to ‘update’ the 2nd Amendment to modern standards?

Dec 09, 2011 10:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
amazedjwp wrote:
@USAPragmatist…you are obviously a “lefty”
I would urge you to read the news article that is also around today about the use of Acid by those in Afghanistan against a young girl who had spurned the advances of a suitor. I can only say that I personally would rather be shot and die quickly from a gunshot wound than to endure the long excruciating pain that this poor girl has had to suffer.
In short, take away the guns and those who will be violent will find a different means to be violent. Whether it be a sword, stick, rock or acid, you can’t eliminate violence by eliminating guns. This story is about a man who was shot at close range with, apparently, one or at least a limited number of shots. Had the perpetrator not had a gun, he could still have executed the crime if he had wanted to badly enough with a different weapon of choice.

Dec 09, 2011 12:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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