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Va. Tech shooter's family offers condolences

RICHMOND, Va. - The family of a man who investigators say gunned down a Virginia Tech police officer offers its condolences and prayers to the family of the slain law enforcement officer.

In an unsigned statement sent Sunday to The Associated Press, the family of 22-year-old Ross Truett Ashley also requested that their privacy be respected. They said there would be no additional statements.

The Spotsylvania County family has not made a public statement since the deadly shooting on Thursday.

Investigators say Ashley walked up to Deriek Crouse on Tech's Blacksburg campus and fatally shot him. Ashley was found a short time later, dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Virginia State Police investigators are attempting to determine a motive for what appeared to be an unprovoked attack.

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This photo released by Virginia Tech shows police officer Deriek Crouse, who was shot and killed Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, during a routine traffic stop on the school's Blacksburg, Va., campus. AP Photo

Crouse's widow said Saturday he was the love of her life and that they had exchanged text messages about an hour before he was fatally shot by a man he apparently didn't know.

The Roanoke Times reports that Tina Crouse said her family has been shattered by the shooting death Thursday of Crouse, a retired Army reservist.

Ashley, the shooter, was a part-time college student from nearby Radford University.

Virginia State Police said the day before the shooting, Ashley stole a Mercedes SUV at gunpoint from a real estate office in Radford, about 15 miles away. He dumped the car on the Tech campus, and it was found Thursday.

Police said he walked up to the police officer he did not know and fired, then took off for the campus greenhouses, ditching his pullover, wool cap and backpack. He made his way to a nearby parking lot, and then a deputy spotted him, but lost sight of him.