A 27-year-old former student has been charged in the fatal shooting of two campus officers at Bridgewater College in Virginia this past Tuesday.
Alexander Wyatt Campbell is facing four felonies, including two counts of capital murder, after he allegedly shot and killed campus safety officer J.J. Jefferson, 48, and campus police officer John Painter, 55. The suspect is being held without bail at Rockingham County Jail and is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday.
College Spokesperson, Campbell Logan Bogert told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday how Campbell attended Bridgewater College from 2013 to 2017 and was a member of the campus track and cross-country teams.
The college employees called the police around 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday after they were “startled” to see the suspect near Memorial Hall on campus, a location he “shouldn’t have been,” police spokesperson Corinne Geller said at a press conference after the shooting.
The two officers responded to the call and had a brief encounter with the assailant before he allegedly shot them both and ran away. This led to the pursuit by local law enforcement agencies.
Gellar stated how he suspect waded through a river and reached an island in the North River, where he was taken into custody at 1:55 p.m. without further incident.
She added that the encounter was “fortunately” isolated from students.
Police have not yet provided a motive for the shooting. Geller informed the outlet that Virginia State Police officers would return to the area on Thursday to “retrace the shooter’s movements” from the time of the shooting to his apprehension.
“Today our campus community experienced unspeakable tragedy,” Bridgewater College President David Bushman said in a statement. “These officers were close friends, known to many of us as the ‘dynamic duo.’ John was J.J.’s best man in his wedding this year. They were beloved by students, faculty and staff.”
Authorities say Campbell suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, but it was unclear if the injury was self-inflicted or due to gunfire from an officer. The shooting is considered to be an isolated event, police said.
Bridgewater College did not comment further on Campbell’s association with the school. He most recently lived at an address in Ashland, Virginia, according to authorities. Geller said that police had recovered “multiple firearms associated with Campbell” in their ongoing investigation.
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