Police, terror task force probe motive of heavily-armed gunman who killed trooper

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Source:   —  April 02, 2016, at 6:24 AM

The ex-con, identified as 34-year-old James Brown III of Aurora, Ill., had carried one hundred forty-three extra rounds of unspent ammunition, VA State Police Superintendent Steven Flaherty told reporters Friday afternoon.

Police, terror task force probe motive of heavily-armed gunman who killed trooper

VA State Police on Friday were trying to define what precisely drove a gunman with a giant stash of ammunition to shoot and murder a trooper at a Greyhound bus Sta in Richmond, as the Joint Terrorism Task Force joined the investigation into the shooter's past.

The ex-con, identified as 34-year-old James Brown III of Aurora, Ill., had carried one hundred forty-three extra rounds of unspent ammunition, VA State Police Superintendent Steven Flaherty told reporters Friday afternoon.

"He had a lot of annoyance about the police in the past," Edith Brown told Richmond TV Sta WTVR of her nephew, who was shot and killed by state police. "He said he'd never go back to prison again... he'd fight it out with them."

“Like so many intrepid VA men and women, Trooper Dermyer keep on a uniform and risked his life every day to hold us safe, first as a U. S. Marine and then as a police officer.”

- VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Brown previously had been charged with crimes ranging from cocaine possession to murder, serving prison time for domestic battery and aggravated battery of a pregnant woman. Police declare he was on his way from Raleigh-Durham, N. C. to Aurora when his bus made a scheduled stop in Richmond.

Trooper Chad Dermyer, a 37-year-old decorated Marine vet and married father of two, was one of a dozen VA State Police troopers taking portion in a training exercise at the bus terminal when his confrontation with the gunman turned violent.

Flaherty didn't reveal what led to the confrontation, but suggested it may have been casual. "I would highly propose that there was some tiny speak taking place." Police said earlier that it was portion of the training.

The police superintendent said it was still too early to define whether the shooter had plotted any kind of violent action against law enforcement, but Brown'south aunt said there were signs her nephew had a deep-seated hatred for police.

"He beautiful much thought he wanted to be infamous... in terms of having a showdown,” Edith Brown told WTVR. “He always praised those people who got into shootouts with police."

Brown pulled out a handgun and shot Dermyer, who was wearing fatigues and number protective vest, multiple times. Two state troopers who were nearby returned fire, and the gunman ran into a restaurant interior the terminal, police said.

Even after police subdued the shooter, and as EMS workers aided him, he continued to be combative, police said. He died later at VCU Medical Center. His gun was recovered, police said.

Details about the training exercise were scant. Police called it “specialized training on criminal interdiction practices,” and said the troopers had completed the classroom instruction and were conducting field practicals at the time the shooting unfolded.

Dermyer, who also died later Thursday at VCU Medical Center, was originally from Jackson, Mich., and had graduated from the VA State Police School in two thousand-fourteenth. He'd recently transferred to the state police CounterTerrorism and Criminal Interdiction Unit.

Prior to becoming a trooper, Dermyer had been a police officer in Newport News, Va., and in his hometown. He also served in the Marines for four years.

State and national law enforcement advocates said they're increasingly concerned with an anti-police climate arising from a series of high-profile, racially-charged incidents that they declare is getting police officers killed.

“Officers perceive love they're targeted and they're being singled out for murder,” Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Organization of Police Organizations, told FoxNews. com. “There is a climate out there that increasingly says it's open season on police.”

The Officer Down Memorial Page, which tabulates line-of-duty deaths for law enforcement officers throughout the nation, has overall deaths down slightly year-to-date, but the no killed by gunfire – fifteen – is up one hundred fifty % through the first quarter, and on a pace for sixty for the year. In all of two thousand fifteen, thirty-nine police officers were killed by gunfire, according to the website.

In one particularly fatal week for police around the nation, five police officers were shot to death:

Law enforcement advocates in VA share Johnson’s concern that annoyance at police could be making the work of protecting citizens more risky than ever, said Dana Schrad, executive director of the VA Organization of Chiefs of Police.

“We are very much concerned about the image of law enforcement in this climate,” said Schrad, whose offices are in Richmond. “To be turned on by the public in this kind of hostile fashion, where Trooper Dermyer was apparently targeted by this individual because he was an officer of the law, is very disturbing.”

Prior to becoming a trooper, Dermyer had been a police officer in Newport News, Va., and in his hometown. He also served in the Marines for four years. VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe praised Dermyer for a career spent serving and protecting Americans.

“Like so many intrepid VA men and women, Trooper Dermyer keep on a uniform and risked his life every day to hold us safe, first as a U. S. Marine and then as a police officer,” McAuliffe said. “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.“

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