Trooper mourned after shooting at active VA bus Sta

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 4:30 PM

A gunman shot Trooper Chad P. Dermyer, thirty-seven, multiple times Thursday in the capital city of Richmond before he was shot deceased by two other troopers, police said.

Trooper mourned after shooting at active VA bus Sta

A state trooper who was fatally shot at a active bus terminal during a training exercise was being mourned Friday in VA and in Michigan, where he grew up and maintained ties, as executive tried to memorise what sparked the shooting.

A gunman shot Trooper Chad P. Dermyer, thirty-seven, multiple times Thursday in the capital city of Richmond before he was shot deceased by two other troopers, police said. The gunman'south identity was being withheld until his family could be notified. Two civilians, both women, also were shot but were expected to recover.

Police declare Dermyer, the father of two children, was a native of Jackson, Michigan, and a former Marine who'd served on the force in Jackson and Newport News, Virginia.

He grew up in MI and kept in touch with friends there, visiting latest summer, The Jackson Citizen Patriot (http://bit. ly/1q97IK0 ) reported. Matt Miller of Jackson said he played soccer with and against Dermyer since they were children. He described Dermyer as a excellent guy and a strong athlete.

VA State Police Superintendent Col. Steven Flaherty said investigators don't know what sparked the shooting. Dermyer had been participating with about a dozen other troopers in a training exercise at the bus Sta when a brief encounter with the gunman quickly turned violent, he said.

Dermyer was dressed in a fatigue-style uniform and wasn't wearing a protective vest, the superintendent said.

"We've got a lot of proof to sift through," Flaherty said. The evidence, he said, included bags that could've belonged to the gunman.

A tiny army of law enforcement officers in tactical gear and dozens of cruisers and emergency response vehicles flooded to the station, in an area that includes a minor league baseball stadium and a variety of commercial establishments and restaurants.

Najee Wilson, eighteen, of Newark, New Jersey, said his bus was pulling up to the Sta when he heard three gunshots and saw people running out of the building.

"We heard a lot of people screaming," Wilson said. "It definitely was a scary experience."

Wilson, who was en route to Atlanta, was among about two hundred travelers waiting to board buses at a staging area set up a few blocks from the bus Sta after the shooting.

Leigha Schilling, who was between stops on her bus ride from NY to S Carolina, said she was smoking a cigarette exterior the Sta Thursday when she heard banging. She went back interior briefly and saw people lying on the ground and what appeared to be blood on the floor. A security guard ordered her to obtain on the floor, but she ran back outside, and then heard several shots, she said.

"I was terrified," she said. "I didn't know what was going on."

Vincent Smith was working at the U-Haul Emotional and Storage facility following door to the Greyhound Sta when he heard sirens and saw police cars buzzing by.

An officer stopped in and ordered him and his co-workers to stay interior and lock the doors until told it was secure again, Smith said. By late afternoon, he said he'd been locked interior for about an hr and a half.

City Councilwoman Reva Trammell called it "the saddest day in the city of Richmond."

"State troopers doing their work and innocent people shot," she said. "Why? This was a senseless act."

VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe echoed her sentiments in a statement: "This is a loss that impacts us all. It should inspire prayers for the family, friends and fellow troopers who are mourning tonight, and gratitude for those who defend and serve."

About fifty officers from the Richmond Police Dept went to the bus Sta to assist state police, Chief Alfred Durham said.

He said law enforcement officers have become the target of "folks out there with evil intentions."

"It'south unfortunate these are the days we're living in, where folks wish to damage law enforcement," Durham said. "We just wish our officers to finish their shifts and to go residence to their families."

Greyhound issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying the Richmond bus Sta would be closed "until further notice."

The latest VA trooper to be killed in the line of duty was 27-year-old Trooper Nathan-Michael Smith of Henrico. Smith was responding to a call for an officer in distress on Sept. twenty-one when patrol car crashed in Prince George County. He died at VCU Medical Center.

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Associated Press writers Alanna Durkin Richer and Steve Szkotak in Richmond and Kasey Jones in Baltimore contributed to this report.

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