Virginia State Police www.vsp.virginia.gov
News Release No. 47
For Immediate Release: December 13, 2011
VIRGINIA STATE POLICE STILL SEEK MOTIVE IN
VIRGINIA TECH MURDER-SUICIDE
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal
Investigation’s Salem Field Office is continuing its efforts to identify a
motive in the murder-suicide that occurred Dec. 8, 2011, on the Virginia Tech campus.
State police investigators worked through the weekend and on into this week interviewing
family, friends and acquaintances of Ross T. Ashley, 22, in order to piece together
his movements and actions leading up to the murder of Virginia Tech Police Officer
Deriek W. Crouse.
Despite investigators’ non-stop pursuit of this case, there
still remains no prior connection or contact between Ashley and Officer Crouse.
The Virginia State Police High-Tech Crimes Unit has been extensively reviewing Officer
Crouse’s in-car camera video and surveillance video from on and off the campus.
State police have secured surveillance video that does place Ashley at a local retail
store in the Town of Blacksburg on Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 7).
The .40-caliber, semi-automatic handgun used in both shootings was
legally purchased by Ashley from a licensed, Virginia gun dealer. He purchased the
weapon in January 2011.
(For more information on Virginia law pertaining to the purchase of
a handgun, go to http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_PurchaseEligibility.shtm).
Timeline (Please note that times are approximate)
12/7/11 - 11:25 a.m. – At gunpoint, Ashley steals a 2011 white
Mercedes SUV from Gilbert Real Estate in the 600 block of Calhoun Street in the
City of Radford.
12/7/11 - 12:11 p.m. – City of Radford Police issue multi-state
teletype message to law enforcement for a “Be on the Lookout” for the
stolen Mercedes SUV.
12/7/11 – Later that afternoon, surveillance video places Ashley
inside a Town of Blacksburg retailer. This video was not discovered by investigators
until Thursday (Dec. 8) - when they were conducting their investigation into the
12/8/11 – 9:30 a.m. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
(VTTI) notifies Blacksburg Police of an abandoned vehicle parked on a gravel drive
near the VTTI complex. Police immediately respond, confirm the vehicle is the stolen
Mercedes SUV and notify Radford Police.
12/8/11 – 12:15 p.m. –Virginia Tech Police Officer Deriek
W. Crouse has stopped a car in the Coliseum parking lot along Washington Street
near the intersection of Spring
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