According to college spokesperson Logan Bogert, two campus officers were shot and died Tuesday during an active shooter situation at Bridgewater College in Virginia.
Bogert told Josh Campbell, “I can confirm that a campus police officer and a campus safety officer perished from gunshot wounds today.”
The shootings were described as a “unspeakable tragedy” by College President David Bushman in a message on the school’s Facebook page.
Bushman wrote, “On campus, Campus Police Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer JJ Jefferson were shot and died while protecting us.” “These officers were good friends and were dubbed the ‘dynamic duo’ by many of us. This year, John served as JJ’s best man at his wedding. Students, educators, and staff all adored them. As I’m sure we all do, I’m sorry for their families and loved ones.”
Alexander Wyatt Campbell, 27, of Ashland, Virginia, was identified as the suspect by Virginia State Police.
Campbell was charged with two felony charges of capital murder, one felony crime of first-degree murder, and one felony offence of using a handgun in the commission of a felony, according to Virginia State Police spokesman Corinne Geller.
At the Rockingham County Jail, he is being held without bond. Campbell has yet to hire an attorney, according to our research.
After the shooting, the suspect escaped.
According to Geller, the incident began at 1:20 p.m. when campus police officers responded to a report of a suspicious guy on the premises near Memorial Hall. When Jefferson and Painter arrived, the suspect exchanged a few words with them before shooting them both and fleeing.
Authorities from numerous agencies in the vicinity were identified as the source and quickly began hunting for the perpetrator, according to Geller.
“A man matching the shooter’s description was found off campus on Riverside Drive in Bridgewater,” Geller added. “He then waded through the river and onto an island in the North River,” according to the report, where he was captured without incident.
Campbell was treated at a hospital after the arrest for a non-life threatening gunshot wound, according to Geller. Police are looking into whether the gunshot wound he received was self-inflicted or the consequence of gunfire exchanged with campus officers.
“As evidence, multiple firearms linked to Campbell have been discovered,” she said.
According to Virginia State Police, several people heard or saw the gunshot, and the department is seeking any information from the public.
The college was placed under a shelter-in-place order for most of the day, although it was subsequently withdrawn.
In honour of officers Jefferson and Painter, Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on Wednesday.