Two officers were shot to death during an active shooting episode on Tuesday at Bridgewater College in Virginia, revealed the college representative, Logan Bogert.
“I can confirm that a campus police officer and a campus safety officer died from gunshot wounds today,” he told CNN’s, Josh Campbell.
Meanwhile, David Bushman, the College President, wrote on Facebook regarding Tuesday’s shooting while calling it an “unspeakable tragedy.”
“Campus Police Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer JJ Jefferson were shot and killed on campus while protecting us,” said Bushman. “These officers were close friends, known to many of us as the ‘dynamic duo.’ John was JJ’s best man in his wedding this year. They were beloved by students, faculty, and staff. I hurt for their families and loved ones, as I know we all do.”
The suspect has been identified as an Ashland, Virginia resident named Alexander Wyatt Campbell, 27.
“Campbell has been charged with two felony counts of capital murder, one felony count of first-degree murder and one felony charge of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony”, documented the Virginia State Police, said representative Corinne Geller during a press conference.
The suspect has been kept in the Rockingham County Jail. It is yet to determine whether he has obtained an attorney or not.
The incident happened at around 1:20 pm when the school’s campus police responded to an emergency call of a suspicious man near Memorial Hall said, Geller. On arrival, Painter and Jefferson had a short interaction with the suspect before shooting them to death.
“Our hearts go out to the Bridgewater College community in Virginia. Today they lost campus safety officer JJ Jefferson and campus police officer John Painter in a tragic active shooting incident”, wrote Emory Police on Twitter.
Authorities from the nearby areas immediately responded to the scene and started looking for the suspect, said Geller.
“A man fitting the shooter’s description was located on Riverside Drive off-campus in the town of Bridgewater,” Geller said. “He then waded through the river and onto an island in the North River where he was taken into custody without further incident.”
Campbell had a harmless gunshot wound and thereby got immediately treated after getting arrested. However, police are still probing whether he faked the gunshot wound or it was a result of a shooting exchange at Bridgewater College.
“Multiple firearms associated with Campbell have been recovered as evidence,” she said. Several people in the surrounding areas have witnessed the shooting. The authorities are interrogating the public for information regarding the incident.