LAST UPDATED 10 a.m. April 1:
Virginia State Police confirmed a state trooper died at VCU Medical Thursday afternoon after a gunman opened fire at the Richmond Greyhound station earlier that day.
According to State Police Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Trooper Chad Dermyer, 37, died as a result of his injuries after being shot at approximately 2:40 p.m. Thursday. Two civilians are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at VCU Medical, where the suspected gunman also died Thursday.
“This is a loss that impacts us all. It should inspire prayers for the family, friends and fellow troopers who are mourning tonight, and gratitude for those who protect and serve,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a statement after the State Police confirmed Dermyer’s death Thursday.
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller clarified initial reports about the incident. Originally, officials stated that six were injured in the shooting, including two state troopers – one of whom was reported as deceased. Geller said the suspected shooter’s firearm was recovered.
“This is one of the saddest days I’ve seen in the city of Richmond, and I’ve been here all my life,” said City Council Member Reeva Trammell, who chairs the council’s Public Safety Committee.
Col. Flaherty said additional law enforcement resources from the FBI, ATF, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals Service and Henrico County and Richmond Police responded to the scene to assist, and the investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Mayor Dwight Jones’ office said in a statement that Jones is in constant contact with Richmond Police Chief Al Durham. According to the statement, the matter is under the jurisdiction of the Virginia State Police, and Richmond Police officials are fully engaged and acting in a supporting role.
Following the incident Thursday afternoon, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he spoke with Jones and Flaherty, and “offered whatever state resources may be necessary to respond to this situation.”
Flaherty said the shooting occurred during a training exercise at the bust station when Dermyer approached a male subject just inside the front doors. While speaking with the subject, the male pulled out a handgun and shot Dermyer multiple times.
As the male subject continued firing his weapon, two nearby state troopers returned fire. The subject then moved into the terminal’s restaurant and continued to be combative as police took him into custody and EMS crews tried to render aid to him, according to Flaherty.
The suspect died at VCU Medical, and his remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Flaherty said State Police have confirmed the subject, but will not release his name until the next of kin is formally notified.
During the course of the gunfire, two adult females inside the bus terminal were also shot and both were transported to VCU Medical and are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. According to a Binghamton University press release, one of the injured civilians was a track athlete traveling to the College of William and Mary.
“Trooper Dermyer was among approximately a dozen state police troopers participating in a specialized training on criminal interdiction practices,” Flaherty said.
Dermyer is a Jackson, Mich. native who graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in November 2014. Flaherty said Dermyer recently transferred to the State Police Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction Unit.
Dermyer also served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, and is survived by his wife and two young children.
“Like so many brave Virginia men and women, Trooper Dermyer put on a uniform and risked his life every day to keep us safe, first as a U.S. Marine and then as a police officer. He was a husband, a father and a hero who was taken from us too soon,” McAuliffe said in a statement Thursday evening.
U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner tweeted Thursday that they are also praying for those wounded and for the first responders.
Executive Editor, Sarah King
Sarah is a junior studying political science and philosophy of law. She is a copyeditor for INK Magazine and reporter for the Capital News Service wire. Last spring, Sarah worked as an editorial intern for Congressional Quarterly Researcher and SAGE Business Researcher in Washington, D.C. // Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
News editors Andrew Crider and Fadel Allassan also contributed to this reporting.