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Two Officers Killed in Virginia College Shooting Identified

Two campus safety officers killed while confronting an active shooter at a college near Harrisonburg, Virginia were identified Tuesday afternoon as J.J. Jefferson and John Painter.

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Bridgewater College identified the officers in a note sent out to college’s community on Tuesday, obtained by WTVR.

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

The well-liked officers were close friends know to many as “dynamic duo,” according to the note. Jefferson was even Painter’s best man at his wedding this year.

Virginia State Troopers guards a roadblock on June 1, 2019, at the scene of the mass shooting in the Virginia Beach Municipal center in Virginia, Beach, Virginia. – A municipal employee sprayed gunfire “indiscriminately” in the government building complex on May 31, 2019, police said, killing 12 people and wounding four in the latest mass shooting to rock the US. On Tuesday, state police apprehended a suspected shooter at Bridgewater College.
Eric BARADAT/Getty Images

“This is a sad and dark day for Bridgewater College,” reads the note. “I know we 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.”

The Virginia State Police said on Twitter that the suspected shooter has been apprehended and authorities are investigating.

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At about 1:20 p.m., police from multiple jurisdictions responded to a report of a shooting on the campus, according to a statement from the college. After the officers were shot, the armed suspect fled the scene, initiating “a massive search operation,” according to the statement. The male shooter was taken into custody by 1:55 p.m.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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