The Washington Post

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.

View Photo Gallery: A university police officer was fatally shot during a routine traffic stop, and a second person was found slain in a nearby parking lot. That person was believed to be the gunman who killed the officer, authorities said.

Deriek Crouse (Virginia Tech )

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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