Virginia Tech Victim a Vet, Dad of 5

More details emerge on campus shootings
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2011 7:21 AM CST
Virginia Tech Shooting Victim Deriek W. Crouse an Army Veteran, Father of 5
This photo released by Virginia Tech shows police officer Deriek Crouse, who was shot and killed Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, during a routine traffic stop on the school's Blacksburg, Va. campus.   (AP Photo/Virginia Tech)

Deriek W. Crouse, the police officer killed yesterday during a traffic stop on the Virginia Tech campus, was a 39-year-old Army veteran and father of five. He and the suspected shooter, who was apparently found dead nearby, were shot with the same handgun, police confirmed today. The suspect is believed to have committed suicide as police closed in, the Washington Post reports. "We have recovered clothing items that would lead us to believe that" the second body found is that of the shooter, an investigator tells the New York Times.

Both the motive and the shooter's relationship with either Crouse or the driver involved in the traffic stop are still unknown. Though the shooting invoked haunting memories of Virginia Tech's 2007 tragedy, it was different this time around: Within minutes, the school had deployed a high-tech alert system, overhauled after the 2007 shootings, to tell people to stay inside, and the campus was quickly locked down. Public officials, students, and staff members alike praised the response. Final exams, which were due to start today, will be postponed, the AP adds. (More Deriek W. Crouse stories.)

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