Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller speaks during a news conference at Bridgewater College. AP
Two campus police officers were shot and killed at a college in the US state of Virginia on Tuesday, while one student was killed and another wounded in a shooting at a school in Minnesota the same day.
A gunman shot and killed two campus officers at a private college, prompting a protracted campus lockdown and search before the suspect was apprehended, state police and school officials said.
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At a news conference Tuesday night, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said that the shooting happened shortly after the campus officers responded to reports of a suspicious man on campus around 1:20pm. She said that after a brief interaction, the man opened fire on the officers, shot them and fled on foot. The two officers succumbed to their wounds on the scene.
A statement from school president David W. Bushman identified the two officers as campus police officer John Painter and campus safety officer J.J. Jefferson. He said that the campus was mourning the loss of the well-known and well-loved officers. Saying the pair was known as "the dynamic duo,” the statement noted that Painter was the best man at Jefferson's wedding this year.
A gunman kills the two campus officers J.J Jefferson (left) and John Painter. AP
"Two members of the Bridgewater College family were senselessly and violently taken from us. The sadness is palpable. Words are not adequate, not nearly so, to express the grief, sadness, fear and — justifiably — the anger we all feel,” Bushman added.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered flags across the state be flown at half-staff Wednesday to honor the officers.
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 shooting in Minnesota occurred in the town of Richfield just outside of Minneapolis around noon, officials said, leaving one student dead and another wounded.
This mugshot shows Alexander Wyatt Campbell, who's accused of shooting in Virginia on Tuesday. AP
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.
The shooter was also killed after an extended gun battle with responding officers, in a scene that "best could be described as a war zone," Virginia Beach police chief James Cervera told a news conference.
The Chesterfield County Police Department said police were called to the party and received additional reports of shots fired while responding to the initial call in Chester, Virginia, WWBT-TV reported.
Police and the suspect exchanged fire, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The situation has been stabilized and there is no threat to the public," the Orange Police Department said in a post to their Facebook page.
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