State Watch

Suspect in Bridgewater College shooting a former student, records show

The suspect in Tuesday’s deadly shooting at Bridgewater College in Virginia is a former student at the school, according to local media reports.

The shooting, which left two campus officers dead, sent the small and private liberal arts college into lockdown for more than three hours.

Alexander Wyatt Campbell, 27, was arrested nearby and is being held at Rockingham County Jail.

Campbell had four years of education before he dropped out of Bridgewater, WHSV reported in Virginia. Campbell is a former member of the track and field and cross country teams at the school, but he was also banned from the dining room on campus at one point.

The former student from Ashland, Va., was arraigned on Wednesday and faces five felony charges: two counts of capital murder, one count of first-degree murder, aggravated felony murder of more than one person and use of a firearm in commission of a felony, according to ABC 7 News. His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 16.

The incident on Tuesday reportedly began when campus officers John Painter and J.J. Jefferson approached Campbell as a suspicious person. Campbell then allegedly fired at them before fleeing, initiating a large manhunt involving multiple police departments.

He was apprehended shortly before 2 p.m. after swimming onto an island in a river near the town of Bridgewater.

The school lifted its lockdown emergency at 4:33 p.m.

After the news broke, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said his “heart is broken” by the tragedy and the loss of the two officers.

“These officers were dedicated to protecting the students and faculty of the college and I have ordered that the flags of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia be flown at half-staff tomorrow to honor their memory and courageous efforts,” Youngkin said in a statement on Tuesday. “The First Lady and I ask Virginians to keep their family, friends, and the Bridgewater community in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

A procession honoring the two slain officers is set to be held on Thursday afternoon.

Bridgewater College President David Bushman said Tuesday said the officers were best friends and known as a “dynamic duo” on campus. They were “beloved” by everyone, Bushman added.

“Two members of the Bridgewater College family were senselessly and violently taken from us. The sadness is palpable,” he wrote in his statement. “Words are not adequate, not nearly so, to express the grief, sadness, fear and—justifiably—the anger we all feel.

Tags Alexander Wyatt Campbell Bridgewater Glenn Youngkin school shooting Virginia

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