This incident occurred at a campus parking lot, the same place where the bloodiest shooting in modern U.S. history took place in 2007 when 33 students were killed.
“In light of the turmoil and trauma and the tragedy suffered by this campus by guns, I can only say words don’t describe our feelings and they’re elusive at this point in time,” Virginia Tech president Charles Steger. “It brings back difficult memories from the past.”
The school reported on its website that after noon, a Virginia Tech police officer made a traffic stop. After that the policeman was shot and killed, said witnesses.
It was then identified that the slain Virginia Tech police officer is Deriek W. Crouse, 39, Christiansburg, Va., who is a four-year veteran of the force. The veteran was married and had five children.
As for one other man killed, there was plenty of rumors that it is a gunman killed a Virginia Tech police officer itself. “The second victim is observed on the in-car video camera system with a weapon at the time of the initial encounter with the officer,” state police Major Rick Jenkins said.
It is said that the murderer apparently shot himself to death nearby in an attack that shook the school nearly five years after.
Shortly after, police found in a parking lot a man with a gunshot wound and a gun not far from the crime place.
“Witnesses reported to police the shooter fled on foot heading toward the Cage, a parking lot near Duck Pond Drive,” the university said on its website. “At that parking lot, a second person was found. That person is also deceased.”
Before it became clear that the gunman in attack was dead, the school locked down the campus and used an alert system to warn students and faculty members to stay indoors.
A student Fuller Hoepner, 19, said he was inside his apartment after he saw the school’s emergency message this afternoon: “shots fired.”
“We did not move. We watched the news all day,” he said.
So, the police declared the campus safe and lifted a lock-down after a nearly four-hour manhunt.
“Virginia Tech Police, in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies, have determined that there is no longer an active threat or a need to secure in place,” was said in the statement.
Police at a conference offered no motive for the crime, citing an ongoing investigation.
“Today tragedy again struck Virginia Tech with a wanton act of violence where a police officer was murdered during a routine traffic stop,” Virginia Tech President Charles Steger told reporters. “Words don’t describe our feelings.”
Corinne Geller, State Police spokeswoman, said officers are trying to determine why the deceased man was wearing different clothing than that worn by the individual in the video and described by witnesses.
Authorities added that they did not know the motive was and were trying to find out whether the officer was specifically targeted.
“At this point, we haven’t been able to establish any kind of immediate connection between the officer and the shooter,” Geller said. “That’s obviously something that’s being looked into.”
The shooting occurred four years after 33 people were killed and more than 20 others wounded in a horrific massacre by the student Seung-Hui Cho, who killed himself at the end of the April 2007 attack.
In August this year, the campus was locked down for more than five hours after three teens reported seeing a man carrying what they thought was a handgun. That time no gunman was found. [Via GMA News, RTE News and Fox News]