An armed college shooter killed two US campus officers before fleeing and sparking a major manhunt that ended in his arrest.
Alexander Wyatt Campbell, 27, of Ashland, Virginia, opened fire on the two officers JJ Jefferson and John Painter after they responded to a call of a man acting suspiciously on the grounds of Memorial Hall, at Bridgewater College in Virginia, US, on Tuesday, Feb. 1, around 2pm.
After a brief discussion, Campbell opened fire and killed the two policemen, Virginia State Police said.
The police officers
He ran off but he was spotted in the town of Bridgewater and, after wading through a river onto an island, he was picked up by police without further incident, reported wtvr.com.
Police said Campbell was found with a non-life threatening gunshot wound and he was taken to hospital – but it is unclear whether he was shot by Bridgewater officers or the wound was self-inflicted.
A police statement read: “Initial report came in that two officers had been shot and the armed suspect fled the scene. State and local law enforcement immediately responded and initiated a massive search operation for the suspect.”
Campbell has now 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, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told a news conference.
College President David Bushman, in a message on the school’s Facebook page, called the shootings an “unspeakable tragedy.”
He wrote: “Campus Police Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer JJ Jefferson were shot and killed on campus while protecting us.
“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.”