Tech mourns loss of campus police officer - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Tech mourns loss of campus police officer

Officer Deriek Crouse Officer Deriek Crouse

BLACKSBURG, VA (WWBT) – As the investigation into the shootings on campus continues, the entire Virginia Tech community is struggling to cope with yet another loss of one of their own.

While that feeling has become tragically familiar there, the pain on campus still seems unbearable. It is difficult to understand how an officer sworn to protect and serve the community could be taken away so quickly and without explanation.

Police and officials we normally look to for strength in tragic times are visibly shaken by the loss of Officer Deriek Crouse. They choked back tears during a Friday morning press conference. 

"The Virginia Tech Police Department is a very special group to those of us in the university community and so our heart goes out to them," said Associate Vice President of University Relations Larry Hincker.

Since he was identified, we've learned a lot about Deriek Crouse, who was known as a decorated officer, member of the SWAT team and veteran. But for those closest to Crouse, he was so much more.

"Deriek was a friend to many in our department," said Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum.  "Deriek was a husband. Deriek was a father and Deriek was a son."

There is now one less guardian protecting the Hokie family. His family of sworn officers will have some help coping in the coming days. State and local law enforcement will assist in order to give the department time to grieve.

"Police officers develop many close bonds when you work together in many stressful situations and his death is a tremendous loss to our department and every one of us," the chief told NBC12.

Now even those who didn't know Crouse are offering their support.

"This is just going to make us stronger together because we're going to stick together no matter what," said freshman Alexandra Lee.

Still, they struggle with a loss they can't seem to understand.

"I'm just shocked," Lee explained. "There's not words to describe it: someone who has dedicated their life to protecting us then gets shot and killed.

A vigil to honor the fallen officer is set to begin at 6:30 p.m., at the April 16th memorial on campus.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Victim identified in deadly triple stabbing in Richmond

    Victim identified in deadly triple stabbing in Richmond

    Sunday, July 23 2017 12:33 PM EDT2017-07-23 16:33:05 GMT

           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...

    More >>

           Richmond police are working a death investigation after three women are stabbed overnight in the city's northside.        The stabbing happened just after midnight in the 3500 block of North Avenue.        Police aren't telling us much -- but can confirm three women were stabbed, and one of them died from their injuries.       As for the other two victims -- on...

    More >>
  • Man shot to death in Petersburg

    Man shot to death in Petersburg

    Sunday, July 23 2017 11:09 AM EDT2017-07-23 15:09:48 GMT
    Police are in the beginning stages of a homicide investigation, after a man is found shot to death in Petersburg Sunday morning. Officers say they were called to the 2700 block of South Crater Road, around 2 a.m. When they got to the scene, police say they found a man, who had been shot multiple times. That man, 53-year-old Samuel Gee, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police continue to investigate, and say they're speaking to witnesses who were present during the shooting. If...More >>
    Police are in the beginning stages of a homicide investigation, after a man is found shot to death in Petersburg Sunday morning. Officers say they were called to the 2700 block of South Crater Road, around 2 a.m. When they got to the scene, police say they found a man, who had been shot multiple times. That man, 53-year-old Samuel Gee, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police continue to investigate, and say they're speaking to witnesses who were present during the shooting. If...More >>
  • Former Dinwiddie County sheriff passes away

    Former Dinwiddie County sheriff passes away

    Saturday, July 22 2017 10:35 PM EDT2017-07-23 02:35:48 GMT
    Dusty Rhodes (Source: NBC12)Dusty Rhodes (Source: NBC12)

    According to a Dinwiddie official, Dusty Rhodes passed away at his home on Saturday.

    More >>

    According to a Dinwiddie official, Dusty Rhodes passed away at his home on Saturday.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly