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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Trooper, Gunman Dead|in Bus Station Shooting

RICHMOND, Va. (CN) - A gunman fatally shot a Virginia state trooper at a Richmond Greyhound bus terminal Thursday before he was shot dead by two other state troopers.

Two bystanders, both women, were wounded during the incident but are expected to recover.

Trooper Chad Dermyer, 37, died at VCU Medical Center Thursday evening after being shot mulitiple times, according to Virginia State Police Superintendent Col Steven Flaherty.

Flaherty said investigators still have no idea what inspired the gunman, who has been identified as James Brown III, of Aurora, Va., to open fire.

He was, however, well known to law enforcement.

Brown was charged with attempted murder in 2001, but he pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was ultimately sentenced to four years in prison, with credit for time served.

In 2006, Brown was charged with unlawfully possessing a weapon and body armor as a felon and drug charges.

After pleading guilty to cocaine possession, he was sentenced 5 1/2 years in prison.

He was against in trouble four years ago, when he pleaded guilty to domestic battery and aggravated battery of a pregnant woman.

For that offense he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

At the time of Thursday's shooting Dermyer and about a dozen other troppers were participating in a training exercise at the bus station.

"As the trooper began talking to the male, the subject pulled out a firearm and shot the trooper. Two Virginia State Police troopers nearby returned fire," said State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

Because he was participating in a training exercise, Dermyer was dressed in a fatigue-style uniform and was not wearing a protective vest when the shooting occurred, Flaherty said.

Federal agents with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security also responded to the active shooter alert, Geller said.

"I have spoken with the Mayor of Richmond and the Superintendent of the Virginia State Police and offered whatever state resources may be necessary to respond to this situation," Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said.

"Our public safety team and I will continue to monitor the situation and support State Police and local authorities in their response and investigation of this incident."

"The matter is under the jurisdiction of the Virginia State Police and Richmond Police officials are fully engaged and acting in a supporting role at this time," Richmond City Mayor Dwight Jones said.

State police said the Greyhound station will remain closed for several hours pending their investigation.

"There's a lot of work to be done," Geller told reporters on Thursday.

Dermyer, the father of two children, was a native of Jackson, Mich., and a former Marine who settled in Virginia after being station at Newport News. He is the first Virginia state trooper to be killed in the line of duty this year.

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