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Shooter at Virginia Tech was student at nearby school

Virginia State Police say Ross Truett Ashley, a part-time student at a nearby college, killed Virginia Tech police officer Deriek Crouse before taking his own life. An emergency system sent alerts out seven minutes after the shooting.

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Virginia State Police have identified the man they say is responsible for the murder-suicide that took place Thursday at the Virginia Tech campus.

Ross Truett Ashley, a part-time student at Radford University, killed Virginia Tech police officer Deriek Crouse shortly after noon Thursday while Mr. Crouse was conducting a traffic stop. Mr. Ashley was not involved in the stop but approached the scene on foot. After shooting Crouse while he was seated in his unmarked patrol car, Ashley fled on foot. 

Ashley’s body was found about a half mile away in a parking lot. Police determined he had changed clothes. No identification was found on his body.

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No motive is known for the killing, and police say they’ve found no link establishing a prior relationship between both men.

On Wednesday, Ashley entered a real estate office in Radford and demanded at gunpoint the keys to a 2011 Mercedes SUV parked outside. The vehicle was found abandoned along the side of the road Thursday in Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech is located.

According to officials at Radford University, located about 10 miles from Virginia Tech, Ashley was a business management major. He was earlier enrolled at the University of Virginia at Wise, where he made the dean’s list in 2008.

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