Virginia Tech: Shooter was not a Virginia Tech student

Posted at 2:02 PM, Dec 09, 2011
and last updated 2011-12-09 14:28:05-05

BLACKSBURG, VA (WTVR) - The person who shot and killed a Virginia Tech police officer was not a Virginia Tech student, university spokesman Larry Hincker said Friday.

"It was just a wanton, crazy random act of violence. So, obviously our university community was deeply distraught," Hincker said.

During a 10 a.m. news conference at Virginia Tech, state police said they are in the process of piecing together exactly what happened Thursday.

However, officials said ballistic evidence testing shows the same handgun killed both the officer and male subject.

Virginia State Police Public Director Corinne Geller said the officer had pulled over a car during a traffic stop around noon. That is when the shooting suspect approach the car and fatally shot the officer. Officials said the car's dashcam video showed the suspect.

The officer was not able to return fire. Additionally, there has been no connection between the person the stopped car. Geller said the driver, a Virginia Tech student, has been extremely cooperative with police.

Officials said the suspect took off on foot and ran to a greenhouse where he changed clothes. Officers found a backpack with a hat and hoodie matching witnesses' descriptions of the suspect outside the greenhouse.  [Click here to read more about Thursday's shooting]

About a half an hour after the shooting, a Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy spotted a male pedestrian acting strangely at the back of the Duck lot.

Geller said by the time the officer got to the back of the lot, the man was found laying on the ground, suffering from an apparent self-inflcited guinshot wound.

No one witnessed the second shooting.

"We are very confident that he was the only individual involved with this," said Geller.

Additionally, since the subject was wearing different clothing, officers said it took longer to confirm the second body was likely the shooter.

The two shooting scenes were about a half mile apart.

Police said they are working to determine if the shooter was connected to a robbery and stolen vehicle incident in Radford Wednesday.

Additionally, police said they have not been able to make a connection between the shooter and writing found on a wall inside the greenhouse. [Click here to read more about the weapon]

Virginia Tech police did identify the first victim as Derieck Crouse, 39, of Christiansburg.

Crouse had been on the campus police force since 2007. He is survived by his wife and five children. [Click here to read more about Officer Crouse]

Virginia Tech officials said final exams scheduled for Friday will take place on Saturday. Blacksburg Transit will be running on a weekday schedule Saturday.

The university's Cook Counseling Center will also be open through the weekend for anyone who needs help.