BLACKSBURG, Va. – Ballistics evidence testing has officially linked the two fatal shootings that occurred Thursday afternoon (Dec. 8, 2011) on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va. Testing conducted by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science has confirmed that both victims were shot by the same weapon.
At approximately 12:15 p.m., Virginia Tech Police Officer Deriek W. Crouse had a vehicle stopped in the Coliseum parking lot along Washington Street near the intersection of Spring Road. During the course of the traffic stop, Officer Crouse was approached by an unknown male and fatally shot. The male subject then fled on foot from the scene.
Virginia Tech Police, Blacksburg Police and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office immediately responded to the scene and began canvassing the campus for the shooting suspect. At approximately 12:45 p.m., a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a male pedestrian in the Cage parking lot along Duck Pond Drive. When the deputy reached the male subject, he found the man on the ground and deceased with a handgun nearby. The two shooting scenes are less than a half of a mile apart.
The bodies of both Officer Crouse and the male subject were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy. State police are still awaiting confirmation of the male subject’s identity.
Virginia State Police have been able to review Officer Crouse’s in-car video. The video captured a male subject with a handgun at the officer’s car at the time of the shooting. Later Thursday afternoon, Blacksburg Police recovered a discarded backpack at the Greenhouses on the Virginia Tech campus. The clothing found inside the backpack is similar to the clothing worn by the male subject in the officer’s video.
The Virginia Tech, Blacksburg and Christiansburg police departments, and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office have assisted Virginia State Police with the ongoing investigation.