A Former Bridgewater College Student Was Charged In The Fatal Shooting Of Two Campus Officers
"These officers were close friends, known to many of us as the 'dynamic duo,'" the Bridgewater College president said.
A man charged in the fatal shooting of two campus officers at Bridgewater College in Virginia on Tuesday was a former student, campus officials confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
Alexander Wyatt Campbell, 27, 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.
Campbell attended Bridgewater College from 2013 to 2017 and was a member of the campus track and cross-country teams, college spokesperson Logan Bogert told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday.
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, prompting a pursuit by local law enforcement agencies.
The 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, Geller said.
She added that the encounter was "fortunately" isolated from students.
Police have not yet provided a motive for the shooting. Geller told BuzzFeed News 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."
Campbell suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, but authorities said 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.