BLACKSBURG, Va. — The man who authorities say killed a Virginia Tech police officer has been described as a typical college student, making it difficult to understand why he'd commit an armed robbery and a day later target the patrolman before killing himself.
Authorities on Friday identified the gunman as Ross Truett Ashley, a 22-year-old part-time business student at nearby Radford University. He first drew authorities' attention Wednesday when he allegedly stole a Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle from his landlord's office.
Investigators worked Friday to unravel a motive for the Thursday slaying of officer Deriek W. Crouse during an unrelated traffic stop. Friday night, thousands of people gathered for a candlelight vigil on campus.
State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Ashley appears to have acted alone and didn't know the slain 39-year-old officer.
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