Bridgewater College Shooting in Virginia Full Story
A gunman killed and wounded two campus police officers at a private school on Tuesday, leading to a prolonged campus lockdown and search, before the suspect was arrested the state police and school officials told.
The lockdown started in the afternoon, the afternoon when Bridgewater College officials sent out an alert tweet in the early afternoon, warning students and faculty of shootings on campus.
The school sent out an update tweet around 2 p.m. that said the police had arrested an individual after conducting a search on the campus, but that students were advised to remain in a safe area.
A photographer from the news took a photo of a suspect, who was believed to be arrested lying face down on the ground, as more than a dozen police officers approached with guns in hand. The college issued the all-clear around 4:45 p.m.
There were no other injuries reported.
At a press conference held Tuesday evening, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller explained that the shooting occurred just after the officers on campus were alerted to an unruly man on the campus at around 1:20 p.m. The spokeswoman said that following a brief exchange with the suspect, the suspect fired at the police officers, then shot them, then fled on the foot. The two officers were pronounced dead from their injuries at the scene.
State and local police departments then joined in the search and located the suspect on the campus. He was found wading into a river and was arrested on an island within the river. According to them.
The suspect, a 27-year-old Alexander Wyatt Campbell, was treated for a gunshot injury that was not life-threatening. Geller stated that it was not evident if he suffered the wound during an altercation with the police or the wound was self-inflicted and he received treatment for the wound.
Campbell was held without bond for two charges of capital murder as well as one count of murder in the first degree as well as one charge of the use of a firearm during the execution of a felony in the Virginia State Police news release.
His last address was Ashland, Va.
Geller stated that she wasn’t sure whether Campbell had an attorney who could act for him.
A statement from the school’s president David Bushman, the school’s president. Bushman identified the two officers as police campus Officer John Painter and campus safety officer J.J. Jefferson. The president said the campus is mourning the loss of the well-known and loved officers. They were described for being “the energetic duo” The statement also noted Painter was the most popular man at Jefferson’s wedding last year.
“Two people from the Bridgewater College family were senselessly and violently removed from us. The pain is tangible. The words aren’t enough to even close enough to convey the pain anger, sadness, and -justifiably the anger we all feel.” Bushman added.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered flags across the state to fly at half-staff to honor the state’s officers.
“My heart is broken due to the tragic loss of two officers from Bridgewater College today … We, the first lady and myself both ask Virginians to remember their families and friends as well as Bridgewater College and the Bridgewater residents in your prayers and thoughts through this difficult time,” he said in an announcement.
Bridgewater College is a private liberal arts institution located around 150 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of Richmond. It was once a part of the Church of the Brethren, Bridgewater College had a student population of around 1500 full-time students as of its fall semester of 2021 according to its website.