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Virginia Tech remembers slain police officer

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:32 PM EST, Mon December 12, 2011
Police officers stand guard Monday over the casket of Deriek Crouse, the Virginia Tech officer who was shot to death last week.
Police officers stand guard Monday over the casket of Deriek Crouse, the Virginia Tech officer who was shot to death last week.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Deriek Crouse, 39, was killed Thursday conducting traffic stop on the Virginia Tech campus
  • Authorities: Crouse shot while he was in his police vehicle, then shooter later killed himself
  • Crouse, a U.S. Army veteran, had been on Virginia Tech police force since 2007

(CNN) -- The Virginia Tech community on Monday remembered Deriek Crouse, the police officer who was gunned down last week while conducting a routine traffic stop on campus.

The funeral service for Crouse, 39, was held at Cassell Coliseum, near where authorities say he was shot dead Thursday by Ross Truett Ashley. A witness saw Ashley approach the officer's vehicle -- where Crouse was at the time -- and open fire, then flee the scene, police said.

The 22-year-old shooter, who was not involved in the traffic stop and had no connection with Crouse before the shooting, killed himself about 30 minutes later a quarter of a mile away, authorities said.

"He was a lifelong public servant," Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said of Crouse at Monday's service. "For the last four years, he went to work here protecting the citizens of the state and the students and the faculty and the administrators of Virginia Tech, swearing the oath of the Constitution, strapping on his gun, putting on his badge and doing a police officer's duty."

Virginia Tech holds candlelight vigil

Crouse, an Army veteran, joined the Virginia Tech police force six months after a 2007 mass shooting on the Virginia Tech campus, according to the school's website.

He had worked at the New River Valley jail and with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department. Crouse was trained as a crisis intervention officer, firearms instructor and defensive tactics instructor.

The Christiansburg, Virginia, resident is survived by his wife, Tina, plus five children and stepchildren, his mother and brother.

Students, supporters and others affiliated with Virginia Tech have championed Crouse's memory since his death, including making attempts to help his family.

An online effort known as "Hokies for Crouse" had raised nearly $75,000 for the Crouse family as of early Monday afternoon.

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