Former student arraigned for deaths of officers at Bridgewater College

Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 10:33 AM EST
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BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia State Police are continuing the investigation into Tuesday’s shooting of two Bridgewater College officers.

Police say the bodies of Bridgewater College Police Officer John E. Painter, 55, and Bridgewater College Campus Safety Officer Vashon “JJ” A. Jefferson, 48, were taken to the Medical Examiners Office in Roanoke Tuesday for examination and autopsy.

Click here for a GoFundMe account to help the victims’ families.

In an email sent to students and staff, the college said Campus Police Officer John Painter...
In an email sent to students and staff, the college said Campus Police Officer John Painter (left) and Campus Safety Officer J.J. Jefferson (right) were shot and killed.(Bridgewater Police Department)

Alexander W. Campbell, 27, a former member of the Bridgewater College track & field and cross country teams. was arraigned on five felony charges Feb. 2 in the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County General District Court.

Charges include aggravated murder of a police officer, first-degree murder, aggravated murder of multiple persons within 3 years, aggravated murder of multiple persons and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Harrisonburg attorney Gene Hart was chosen to represent Campbell; Hart immediately asked the judge for time for a mental health evaluation.

The next scheduled court date is a status hearing set for February 16.

The chief of campus police posted this message on Facebook:

Police will be working on the ongoing investigation, which is focusing on retracing the shooter’s steps from the time of the shooting on the campus to his arrest on the island in the North River.

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