Two campus officers were shot and killed at Bridgewater College in Virginia on Tuesday and a suspect was in custody following reports of an active shooter on campus, college officials confirmed.
The small liberal arts college tweeted reports of an active shooter around 1:30 p.m. A male suspect had been taken into custody by 2 p.m., Virginia State Police said.
Police have not released additional information about the suspect.
In an email to the campus community obtained by the Staunton News Leader of the USA TODAY Network, Bridgewater College President David Bushman confirmed the officers’ deaths.
Campus Police Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer J.J. Jefferson were fatally shot while protecting the campus, Bushman said.
“These officers were close friends, known to many of us as the ‘dynamic duo,'” the email said. “John was J.J.’s best man in his wedding this year. They were beloved by students, faculty and staff. I hurt for their families and loved ones, as I know we all do.”
“This is a sad and dark day for Bridgewater College,” the email continued. “I know all have so many questions and not many answers. One thing I do know though, is that we will rally around one another and support each other as we move forward from this day.”
In a statement, Bridgewater Mayor Ted Flory said the community was “heartbroken by the needless injuries and loss of life.”
“And we are rightly angered at the evil which alighted upon us,” he wrote.
In an email sent to students, Bridgewater College canceled all classes and previously scheduled events for the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday.
Contributing: Laura Peters, Patrick Hite, Monique Calello and Ben Leibowitz, Staunton (Va.) News Leader