Two Officers, Good Friends in Life, Murdered at Bridgewater College

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Campus Police Officer John Painter and Campus Safety Officer J.J. Jefferson were friends in life and were murdered together today at Bridgewater College in Virginia. The police don’t know of any possible motive at this time.

A suspected gunman was in custody after two campus officers were fatally shot at the private liberal arts college on Tuesday, officials said.

In an email to students, faculty and staff, Bridgewater College President David Bushman identified the victims as police officer John Painter and safety officer J.J. Jefferson.

“These officers were close friends, known to many of us as the ‘dynamic duo,’” Bushman 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,” he added.

The AP reported:

A statement from school president David W. Bushman identified the two officers as campus police officer John Painter and campus safety officer J.J. Jefferson. He said that the campus was mourning the loss of the well-known and well-loved officers. Saying the pair was known as “the dynamic duo,” the statement noted that Painter was the best man at Jefferson’s wedding this year.

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

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered flags across the state be flown at half-staff Wednesday to honor the officers.

“My heart is broken tonight by the tragic loss of two officers at Bridgewater College today … The First Lady and I ask Virginians to keep their family, friends, and the Bridgewater community in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” he said in a statement.

The suspect is 27-year-old Alexander Wyatt Campbell was charged with four felonies — two felony counts of capital murder, one felony count of first-degree murder, and one felony count of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Campbell is being held without bond at the Rockingham County Jail.


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