Virginia Tech shooting: Same gun killed both men, police say


Police officers gather around the scene of a shooting in front of Cassell Coliseum on the Virginia Tech campus December 8, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.


Jared Soares

The gunman in the Virginia Tech shooting was not a student or related to the university in any way and worked alone, the authorities said Friday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported

Police and school authorities held a press conference in order to clarify that the shooting was not done by someone in the school. However, it left many questions unanswered, as law enforcement still tries to figure out the gunman’s motive that killed Officer Deriek W. Crouse.

The same man who killed Crouse died of a self-inflicted gun wound, Reuters reported. Police strongly suspected that the second dead man was the gunman, the New York Times reported.

The suspect's name has yet to be released at a news conference scheduled for mid-morning, according to the Washington Post.

"That's very much the fundamental part of the investigation right now. ... [Why] this man approached Officer Crouse and took his life," said Corinne Geller, a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police, the LA Times reported. "At this point we have nothing to connect him to the Virginia Tech campus or school."

According to Geller there is no connection between the gunman and the fallen officer.

"We have recovered clothing items that would lead us to believe that he would be one and the same. [But] we are not in a situation to say that definitively at this point," said Major Rick Jenkins, deputy director of the Virginia State Police’s bureau of investigation.

Police also have video footage of the shooting of Officer Crouse, captured by a camera mounted on the dashboard of his car. The film of the suspect matches the description of the second man found dead, the BBC reported.

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The officer was shot in a parking lot near the Virginia Tech stadium shortly after 12:15 PM Thursday, according to a police statement. He had pulled over another driver when an "unknown male" approached and shot him, before fleeing on foot.

The gunman is thought to have acted alone in killing the policeman, the NY Times said. However, it is not yet known whether the suspected shooter's bullet wound was self-inflicted.

Investigators have been analyzing DNA samples and interviewing witnesses in order to establish the gunman's identity, and whether he had any links to the murdered officer.

Crouse, 39, has been identified as an army veteran with a wife, five children and step-children, reported Reuters. He joined the Virginia Tech Police Department in October 2007, some six months after the mass shooting by student Cho Seung-Hui that killed 32 people.