Virginia State Police has released the name of the officer killed in Thursday's shooting at Virginia Tech. Deriek W. Crouse, a 39-year-old husband, father of five children, and four-year veteran of the force was killed Thursday afternoon by a gunman whose name has yet to be released.
The first calls reporting a shooting came in around 12:30 p.m.. Six minutes later Virginia Tech issued the first of six alerts locking down campus. The alerts went out by text message, email, and on the university Web site.
Minutes later, a four-year police veteran was dead and another male was found a quarter mile up the road with a gunshot wound.
The unidentified gunman had walked in to a Virginia Tech parking lot and shot the officer while he had been conducting a traffic stop. The shooter fled on foot.
“Another officer later spotted a second person in that parking lot who was alive at the time but later died. The second person is believed to be the shooter,” the Associated Press reported.
Police have not released the name of the gunman or identified a motive.
Virginia Tech is already being praised by students, media, and the university president for a rapid and proportionate response.
“Official warning of deadly shootings on the Virginia Tech campus Thursday was far swifter than the flat-footed response the school was accused of after a shooting rampage that left 33 people dead,” USA Today reported referring to an incident in 2007 where student Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded 25 others before killing himself.
During today’s incident, the school sent updates every half hour regardless if they had new information.
Ara Bagdasarian, CEO of emergency alert company Omnilert, told USA Today that the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting “prompted changes in both technology and cultural attitudes regarding emergency notification.”
Virginia is now among several states that mandate emergency alert systems.
photo from Virginia Tech