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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.
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.
It goes without saying that being married to or being the child of a member of law enforcement brings with it the brutal knowledge that one day you could lose your spouse/parent in the line of duty, but that certainly does not make the news that your loved one is gone forever due to a senseless act of violence any easier to take.
With that in mind, there have been two funds set up to help the family of Officer Crouse. One was started by Hokie students (Twitter page here), and the other by Va. Tech alumni. Losing a loved one is always difficult, but it is especially so during the holiday season when everyone is supposed to be joyful and thankful. The Crouse family will be mourning the loss of a family hero on Christmas day. Donations to help with upcoming expenses due to his loss, not to mention lots of prayers, would do them a world of good.
RIP, Officer Crouse.