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Posted at 11:40 AM ET, 12/09/2011

Virginia Tech shootings update: Suspect in officer’s slaying not a student

The man who shot and killed Virginia Tech police officer Deriek W. Crouse at the school’s Blacksburg campus Thursday hasn’t been identified. But he was not a student, officials said during a news conference Friday.

Deriek Crouse (Virginia Tech )
The violence occurred shortly after noon Thursday, when Crouse stopped a driver near Virginia Tech’s stadium parking lot. The shooter approached Crouse’s vehicle and opened fire, police said. Authorities added that Crouse did not return fire and that the shooter was not the person stopped in the car.

More on Deriek Crouse: Crouse, 39, of Christianburg, had been a member of the force since 2007. According to the Associated Press, Crouse, a father of five, was an Army veteran with a specialty in crisis intervention. Officials confirmed during a news conference Thursday that he is the first Virginia Tech officer killed in the line of duty, according to the Roanoke Times.

More on the shooter: Shortly after the shooting, the gunman and a weapon were found in a nearby parking lot. He has not been identified but is not a student, police said. Authorities added during the news conference that the shooter acted alone. Ballistic tests show the same gun was used in both shootings.

More background: Thursday’s shootings were the first test for the university’s new emergency response system, installed after a 2007 massacre that left 33 dead. Shortly before the shootings, Virginia Tech officials were at a hearing appealing a $55,000 federal fine given after Education Department officials determined university officials violated the Clery Act, which requires universities to provide warnings in a timely manner.

Even though the response system Thursday — coupled with social media updates — appeared to alert students, staff and the public in a timely manner, it startled a community whose memories of the 2007 mass shooting by English major Seung Hui Cho were much too fresh.

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By  |  11:40 AM ET, 12/09/2011

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