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Virginia Tech Shooter Changed Clothes to Escape

But another trooper spotted him in a parking lot
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2011 1:50 PM CST
Virginia Tech Shooting: Suspect Isn't a Student, Changed Clothes in Failed Bid to Escape
A Virginia Tech flag and the state of Virginia flag fly at half-staff in front of Lane Stadium on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., Friday.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(Newser) – Virginia Tech officials shed a few more details on yesterday's murder-suicide but still aren't speculating about a motive. The man who shot officer Deriek Crouse remains publicly unidentified, but police say he wasn't a student or affiliated with the school. He reportedly walked up to Crouse's vehicle while the officer was inside during a traffic stop and fatally shot him, reports the Raonoke Times. Crouse, a father of five, didn't have a chance to return fire.

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The shooter then ran to university greenhouses nearby and stuffed his pullover and hat into a backpack, reports AP. He was apparently trying to escape when another officer spotted him acting suspiciously in a parking lot. As the officer approached by car, the man shot himself. It's not clear at this point whether he targeted Crouse in particular. "That's very much the fundamental part of the investigation right now," says a police spokeswoman. (Read more Virginia Tech stories.)

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