He was a respected police officer at Virginia Tech and loved by family and friends. One year ago today Deriek Crouse lost his life when he was shot during a traffic stop on the Virginia Tech campus.
Today a memorial was held near the site of last year's deadly shooting. Officer Deriek Crouse was remembered as a man with a great personality and an incredible sense of humor. One after another, people who knew him shared their fondest memories.
There were tears, embraces and lots of emotion as a man who was loved dearly by many--was remembered. J.T. Jones is president of the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad. “Officer Crouse was a great man and we can all respect him--and we just need to take times like these to come back and just rededicate things to him,” said Jones.
Crouse’s name is now permanently carved into this memorial. In fact it’s inscribed on a Hokie Stone. A crowd that included law enforcement officers listened as Deriek Crouse's colleagues spoke about his dedication and hard work. The memorial is located not far from where Officer Crouse died. Today, flowers covered the grey marker where the fallen officer’s name appears. It’s a place where those who love him can now come to reflect.
We spoke with Delegate Joseph Yost (R-12th District). “ He was a lifelong law enforcement professional and served in the military and he truly upheld Virginia tech's motto ‘Ut Prosim’,” he said.
Chief Wendell Flinchum of the Virginia Tech Police Department echoed those sentiments and spoke about Officer Crouse’s personality.”He was a fun-loving guy. Some of the stories our officers talked about with Deriek were so funny of things he would say and things he would do so I would describe him as fun- loving but also you heard as we talked about--his service to his community,” said Flinchum.
While losing a loved one is devastating, those who knew Officer Crouse can reflect on the good times as a way to cope with their pain. Officer Kendrah Cline met Deriek Crouse when she was in the police academy and Crouse was a defensive training instructor. After her graduation, Crouse was her field trainer. Now, Kendrah cherishes the memories. “Him playing pranks on me and us laughing. Most of the time he made me mad but those moments are funny now and I'm glad to have those moments to remember,” she said.
Officer Crouse had been with the department just over four years when his life was cut short at the age of 39. He left behind a wife, children, his mother and father and two brothers.