Virginia Tech shooting 2011: Funeral today for Deriek Crouse
As police seek a motive for Thursday's killing of Deriek W. Crouse, Virginia Tech will hold a funeral service Monday for the campus police officer. Meanwhile, relatives of the gunman, Ross Truett Ashley, have sent their condolences to Crouse's family.
The campus shootings have left authorities scratching their heads and emotions running high at Virginia Tech, with students saying they don't want the school to be seen in a negative, tragic light.
Thursday's incident -- in which police said Ashley shot Crouse for no apparent reason and killed himself soon after -- "brought back vivid memories of April 16," Virginia Tech police Chief Wendell Flinchum told Nation Now last week.
On April 16, 2007, undergraduate Seung-hui Cho killed 32 people on the Blacksburg, Va., campus, the deadliest shooting rampage by a lone gunman in U.S. history.
One of two students working to raise money for Crouse's family said that Virginia Tech had "gotten a lot of bad press because of uncontrollable events like April 16."
Twenty-one-year-old Drew Jenkinson told the Roanoke Times: "It's emotional, but it doesn't define us."
He and Bethany Darnley, 22, both seniors at Virginia Tech, have created Hokies for Crouse to raise money for Crouse's family. By Sunday evening, donations had exceeded $65,000. And Darnley told The Times by email that donations will continue to be collected today.
On Sunday, relatives of Ashley sent an unsigned statement to the Associated Press, offering their prayers to Crouse's family:
The Ashley family would like to offer their condolences to the family of Officer Crouse. Officer Crouse and his family are in their prayers.
They said there would be no additional statements.
The funeral service for Crouse, an Army veteran and married father of five, will be held at 2 p.m. EST at Virginia Tech's Cassell Coliseum, Virginia Tech news and information director Mark Owczarski said.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia are among those expected to be in attendance.
-- Amy Hubbard+
Photo: A vigil was held Friday night at Virginia Tech to honor slain campus police Officer Deriek W. Crouse. Credit: Sam Dean / The Roanoke Times/Associated Press