VA State Police trooper dies in shooting at Greyhound station
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia State Police confirm that a trooper has died from his injuries in the Greyhound Station shooting in Richmond on Thursday.
Around 8 p.m., police announced that Trooper Chad Dermyer, 37, passed away from his injuries.
The suspect in the shooting died at the hospital after troopers returned fire.
Spokeswoman Corinne Geller says a suspect opened fire on an officer at the Greyhound station at 2910 North Boulevard on Thursday around 2:45 p.m. Two nearby troopers then shot the suspect, who died after being transported to VCU Medical Center. Two other women were shot and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
One of the two injured is a female track team member for Binghamton University, the athletics department confirmed. She was on her way to a track meet at William & Mary.
The other woman is a 41-year-old from Jacksonville, N.C. Both women are expected to survive.
State Police were at that station for a training exercise on how to intercept drugs at bus terminals, which are often critical transfer points for narcotics. Dermyer had just been training for his new position around 2:40 when he was shot by a man he approached as part of that training, according to State Police.
"The male subject pulled out a handgun and shot Chad multiple times," Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty said. "The male subject continued firing his weapon, as two state police troopers opened fire."
Dermyer was rushed to the hospital where Richmond Police, Virginia State Police, VCU Police, and numerous ambulances came flooding in, gathering outside the emergency room until about 6 p.m. when a motorcade of vehicles with lights on slowly left the area.
Brendan Hamilton was chillingly close to the shooting.
"I had my hand on the door handle," said Hamilton. "I heard two gun shots go off … I did not think they were gunshots, but then there were five, maybe 10 more after that, and I could see the muzzle flash through the tinted door."
Jeremiah Welch was walking down the Boulevard to the bus station when he came about the chaotic scene. "All I saw was people running out with their children, officers with guns behind the walls like trying to get in and then police officers just coming from everywhere." He says several took cover behind taxis.
James Reeves filmed video of the scene. "We thought we heard some gunfire, and we turned around. There was a guy running out of the front door with a duffel bag and don't know if he had anything to do with it or not. I'm pretty sure if he didn't, he was just running for his life."
People who were in the area say they've seen these scenes unfolding in other parts of the country but never thought it would happen in the River City. "That's horrible. I can't believe this happened. I'm still shaking a little bit," Hamilton said.
Reva Trammell, Richmond City councilwoman, was at the scene hugging a State Police trooper.
"This is one of the saddest days in Richmond, Virginia that I have ever witnessed," said Trammell. "For these troopers to be gunned down like that, and innocent people to be gunned down and shot, and for us to lose a state trooper … what about their families? Their friends? I … I would just never believe this."
Gov. Terry McAuliffe says the state is offering "whatever resources may be necessary to respond to the situation."
"Our public safety team and I will continue to monitor the situation and support State Police and local authorities in their response and investigation of this incident," he said.
The governor also released a statement:
Dorothy and I are heartbroken by the senseless death of Virginia State Trooper Chad Dermyer, who died serving in the line of duty today in Richmond. Like so many brave Virginia men and women, Trooper Dermyer put on a uniform and risked his life every day to keep us safe, first as a U.S. Marine and then as a police officer. He was a husband, a father and a hero who was taken from us too soon.
This is a loss that impacts us all. It should inspire prayers for the family, friends and fellow troopers who protect and serve. And as we grieve, we should also reflect, yet again, on how we can come together as a Commonwealth to end the senseless violence that costs the lives of too many mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.
Mayor Jones released the following statement:
Virginia State Police have confirmed that there were four people that were shot during today's incident. A Virginia State Trooper has sustained life-threatening injuries. The shooting suspect is deceased.
This is still an active investigation and a very fluid matter. Virginia State Police are going to need time to verify and validate all of the information.
Richmond Police Department officials are fully engaged and are acting in a supporting role. Governor Terry McAuliffe and I have spoken and are sharing resources and information. We are all heartbroken by this occurrence and our prayers go out to all those that have been affected by this incident.
The Boulevard was shut down from 2:45 p.m. to just after 5:30 p.m.
FBI agents were called in to help process the scene. Law enforcement officials say terrorism is not suspected, but that the man, who was identified as James Brown, III, was deeply disturbed. Police recovered Brown's weapon, along with 143 rounds of additional ammunition in his possession.
Police say Brown is not from the Richmond area and are not sure what he was doing at the bus station.
There will be a prayer vigil for Trooper Dermyer Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. on the sidewalk across from the Greyhound bus terminal on North Boulevard. The location was later changed to the Siegel Center. Those attending are asked to wear a navy blue shirt to "back the blue." Attendees can also bring blue or white single roses to leave in his memory.
Dermyer is survived by his wife Michelle and two children. He had served for four years with the U.S. Marine Corps and began his police career as an officer in Jackson, MI, which is where he's from, and then in Newport News.
Dermyer graduated from Virginia State Police Academy in November 2014, first being assigned to the cities of Newport News and Hampton, and had just recently been transferred to a new unit.
Greyhound is still shut down because of the shooting, and travelers are trying to decide where to go from here. Click here for updates from Greyhound.
- Suspected killer is from Illinois
- Group plans vigil to remember Trooper Dermyer
- Binghamton University track member injured in shooting
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