Slain Va. Tech officer remembered for loyalty
A Virginia State Police Bagpipe honor guard walks past Virginia Tech Police Officer Deriek Crouse's casket, during a funeral service in Blacksburg, Va. on Dec. 12, 2011. / AP Photo/Pool, Kyle Green
The Virginia Tech police officer who died during last Thursday's on-campus shooting was remembered by family and friends during his memorial service on Monday.
Funderal attendees shared stories and memories about Virginia Tech police officer Deriek W. Crouse's loyalty, remembering dedicated husband, father, public servant and Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a former Army friend, the chief of the university's police force and a member of the department were among the speakers.
Before the funeral, Crouse's wife, Tina Crouse, told the Roanoke Times that his death felt like "someone took our our life from us." She called him her idol, admitting that at times she was jealous of him because he did everything so well. When Tina found the news that he was the fallen officer, she cried. "My first thought was, 'I wish I had kissed him better that morning,'" she told the paper.
Last Thursday, police said Crouse made a traffic stop on the Virginia Tech campus when 22-year-old Radford University student Ross Truett Ashley walked up to his car and shot him. Crouse is survived by his wife and five children.
According to police, Ashley fatally shot himself in a nearby parking lot when he was spotted by another officer. Days before, Ashley had stolen a Mercedes Benz from a woman. He abandoned the SUV in a Virginia Tech parking lot shortly before the shooting. The motive for the shooting remains unclear.
Earlier Monday, Ashley's family issued a statement to the Associated Press offering condolences and prayers to Crouse's family. They also added that there would be no further public statements and asked for privacy.
Friends of Ashley told the Washington Post that they were surprised that he killed the officer and himself, and they thought he was a "nice guy." "It seemed like he had his head straight," said Brittany Perry, a Radford University student who used to work with Ashley on campus, told the Washington Post. His resident advisor, Jade Jackson, added to the Post that he occasionally got in trouble, but didn't seem depressed and was "a pretty typical college kid."
No motive has been established for the murder-suicide. Police added that they haven't found any connection between Crouse and Ashley.
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