Two campus cops were killed Tuesday by an active shooter who sent Bridgewater College in Virginia into lockdown and was eventually captured by almost a dozen heavily armed officers on a riverbank.

Campus police officer John Painter and campus safety officer J.J. Jefferson were killed as they responded to the situation, Bridgewater President David Bushman wrote in an email to students, according to the Daily News-Record. Bushman described the two as the “dynamic duo,” with Painter serving as Jefferson’s best man at his wedding.

“The sadness is palpable,” Bushman wrote. “Words are not adequate, not nearly so, to express the grief, sadness, fear and—justifiably—the anger we all feel.”

The college alerted students at 1:24 p.m. to shelter in place after reports of an active shooter. Campus police as well as officers from the Harrisonburg Police Department, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, state police, and other local, state, and federal agencies responded.

“The initial report came in that two officers had been shot and the armed suspect had fled the scene,” the school said.

One neighbor, Ecliff Graves, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he saw the suspect run by his house towards the nearby North River, carrying a large black duffle bag. He watched the man cross onto an island in the river.

Another resident, Michael Souders, told the newspaper he was driving home when he came across “a flood of police officers” wearing tactical gear and flying drones over the neighborhood.

“It was concerning and a little weird to happen in a town of 5,000,” he said.

The suspect—shirtless and seemingly wearing a covering on their head—was apprehended off-campus shortly before 2 p.m., though their name has not yet been released.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a tweet he was briefed on the incident and would continue to monitor it.





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