BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 9, 2011 – The following is a statement that was read by Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller at the 10 a.m. briefing on Friday, Dec. 9.
At this time, Virginia State Police are still waiting for the Medical Examiner to make positive identification of the male gunman involved in the two shootings that occurred on the Virginia Tech campus Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. Once identification is made, then investigators can formally notify his next of kin. At that time, Virginia State Police will release his name. The man was not a Virginia Tech student, nor is there is any evidence to indicate that Officer Crouse knew or had encountered his assailant prior to the shooting.
However, Virginia State Police have been working overnight to recreate the gunman’s movements leading up to the shooting of Virginia Tech Police Officer Derieck W. Crouse, and to determine a motive for his deadly actions.
Shortly after midnight Friday (Dec. 9, 2011), the Virginia Department of Forensic Science confirmed through testing of ballistics evidence recovered from the two scenes that both Virginia Tech Police Officer Derieck W. Crouse and the male subject found deceased in a nearby parking lot were shot and killed with the same weapon. The weapon, a handgun, was recovered near the male subject in the parking lot along Duck Pond Drive.
At approximately 12:15 p.m., Officer Crouse had a car stopped in the Coliseum parking lot along Washington Street near the intersection of Spring Road. During the course of the traffic stop while seated in his unmarked Crown Victoria patrol car, Officer Crouse was approached by an unknown male and fatally shot.
The gunman then fled on foot from the scene. He ran towards the Greenhouses where he apparently changed clothes, and put a pullover top and wool cap into a backpack. The backpack was recovered outside the Greenhouses later Thursday afternoon by a Blacksburg Police Officer.
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 deceased as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The two shooting scenes are less than a half of a mile apart. The man had no identification on him.
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.
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. The clothing found inside the backpack is similar to the clothing worn by the male subject in the officer’s video.