Two Officers Killed at Bridgewater College in Virginia

A gunman fled after the fatal shootings and was caught after a widespread search at the college, about 40 miles from Charlottesville, the authorities said.

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A gunman fatally shot a police officer and a campus safety officer at Bridgewater College in Virginia on Tuesday afternoon, the authorities said.

The assailant, who fled after the 1:20 p.m. shooting, was captured at 1:55 p.m. after a “massive search operation” involving local, state and federal law enforcement officials, the college said in a statement.

Pictures from the scene show him being detained near a riverbank.

In an email sent at 5:04 p.m. to the students and faculty, David Bushman, the president of the college, said that the two officers had been killed.

He identified the victims as John Painter, the police officer, and J.J. Jefferson, the campus safety officer. They were often referred to as the “dynamic duo,” Mr. Bushman said. “John was J.J.’s best man in his wedding this year,” he added.

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“This is a sad and dark day for Bridgewater College,” Mr. Bushman said. “I know we all have so many questions and not many answers.”

The college, which is around 40 miles northwest of Charlottesville, asked those on campus to shelter in place until it issued an all-clear notification at 4:33 p.m.

A college spokeswoman, the college’s Campus Police and Safety Department and the nearby Harrisonburg Police Department referred questions to the Virginia State Police, which did not respond to emails or phone calls on Tuesday evening.

Daniel Lin/The Daily News-Record, via Associated Press

As of the fall 2021 semester, about 1,500 full-time undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled at Bridgewater, according to the school.

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