Washington: A campus police officer and a campus safety officer were killed during a shooting at a Virginia college Tuesday afternoon after responding to reports of a “suspicious” person on campus, officials said.
Two agents, a campus law enforcement officer and a campus safety officer, were shot before the suspect fled the scene at the college in Virginia, Virginia State Police said in a statement on Twitter.
Multiple law enforcement agencies arrived on the campus of Bridgewater College around 1:20 pm (1820 GMT) in response to active shooter reports, according to the same statement, which the school also posted to its website.
The suspect, a 27-year-old man named Alexander Wyatt Campbell, was later apprehended, Virginia State Police said, adding that he had a “non-life-threatening gunshot wound.”
It was not yet clear if he had been shot by police or if the wound was self-inflicted. He has already been charged with murder, police said.
The town of Bridgewater, about two and a half hours south of the US capital of Washington and where Bridgewater College is located, sent out an alert around 1:30 pm warning of an active shooter situation, local media reported.
The school issued an all-clear notice on its website around 4:30 pm.
One student, 21-year-old, Kasey Truslow, told the Washington Post she heard a gunshot outside the window of a classroom building.
“After the second shot, we got on the floor. We remained on the floor for an hour,” she said.
Virginia Governor Glen Youngkin tweeted, “I have been briefed on the situation at Bridgewater College. The shooter is in custody and state and local police are on the scene.”
The officers were identified by the school as John Painter and J.J. Jefferson.
The pair “were shot and killed on campus while protecting us,” a statement from college president David Bushman on its website said.
“These officers were close friends, known to many of us as the ‘dynamic duo.’ John was J.J.’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 statement continued.
Bridgewater Mayor Ted Flory posted a statement on the small town’s website.
“Bridgewater is shocked by today’s senseless violence at Bridgewater College,” Flory said. “We are heartbroken by the needless injuries and loss of life.”
President Joe Biden, who has called on Congress to enact tougher gun control laws, tweeted about the shooting, saying he and his wife “are praying for the families of those lost.”
“Gun violence against law enforcement officers is sickening, and it must end,” he said.
The shooting in Minnesota occurred in the town of Richfield just outside of Minneapolis around noon, officials said, leaving one student dead and another wounded.
The attackers opened fire on the students on a sidewalk outside the South Education Center before speeding away in a car, Richfield Police Chief Jay Henthorne told the StarTribune newspaper.
Two suspects were later arrested, the paper said, noting that friends of the victim had identified the slain student as Jamari Rice, who some local journalists said was the son of Black Lives Matter activist Cortez Rice.
Cortez Rice was arrested last year and charged with attempting to intimidate a judge handling the trial of ex-police officer Kim Potter officer who killed a Black man in April when she said she mixed up her taser with her pistol during a traffic stop.