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Friday, December 9, 2011

22 Year Old Ross Truett Ashley Identified As Cop Killer

22 Year Old Ross Truett Ashley Identified As Cop Killer

Still No Motive Determined In Virginia Tech Slaying

By Dell Hill
Virginia State Police
This undated photo shows Ross Truett Ashley, 22, who Virginia State Police have identified as the gunman who killed a Virginia Tech police officer as well as himself in a Dec. 8, 2011 shooting.
BLACKSBURG, Va. –  A part-time college student at a small school near Virginia Tech was identified Friday as the gunman who shot a police officer to death and then killed himself, triggering a lockdown on a campus still coping with the nation's worst mass slaying in recent memory.

The day before the shootings, police said Ross Truett Ashley, 22, stole a sport utility vehicle at gunpoint from a real estate office in Radford. He dumped the car on the Virginia Tech campus and it was found Thursday.

Authorities have not been able to say what led Ashley to kill a police officer he did not know at a school he had never attended.

"That's very much the fundamental part of the investigation right now," state police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said Friday at a news conference.

Police said Ashley walked up to patrolman Deriek W. Crouse and fired, then took off for the campus greenhouses, ditching his pullover, wool cap and backpack.  He made his way to a nearby parking lot and when a deputy spotted him, he took his own life.

Ashley was a business management major at Radford, the school said on its website.  He was from Partlow, Va., about 160 miles northeast of Virginia Tech.  He also had a local listing in Radford.

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