RICHMOND, Va. — A gunman shot a Virginia state trooper Thursday at a busy bus terminal in the capital city of Richmond before he was shot dead by two other troopers, and the trooper later died, police said.
Two civilians were hurt, though it was not clear if they had been shot..
Early reports indicated Virginia State Trooper Chad Dermyer had died, then a short time later Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said the trooper was alive with life-threatening injuries. But state police confirmed at about 8:40 p.m. that Dermyer had succumbed to his injuries.
Earlier, the trooper and two civilians were transported to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center for treatment. The two civilians who were shot sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Officers responded around 2:45 p.m.to reports of a shooting at the Greyhound bus station in the 2900 block of N. Boulevard
According to police sources in Richmond, troopers with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation were participating in drug interdiction training at the bus station at the time of the shooting.
At about 2:40 P.M., Dermyer approached a male just inside the station doors and while Dermyer talked to him, the male pulled out a gun and shot him multiple times, Virginia State Police said. As the male fired, two troopers returned fire. The suspect moved to the terminal's restaurant, where authorities were able to take him into custody. He later died at the hospital, Virginia State Police said.
The troopers were in plain clothes but had guns and badges, sources said.
Greyhound says there are two trips from Norfolk every day. The first bus leaves at 8 a.m. and a second bus leaves at 12 p.m. and arrives at 2:30 p.m.
Greyhound tweeted Thursday afternoon that the Richmond station is closed until further notice.
"We are actively working with the authorities," Greyhound officials stated.
The incident remains under investigation.
Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement Thursday that he has offered resources to the state police and Richmond. "Our public safety team and I will continue to monitor the situation and support State Police and local authorities in their response and investigation of this incident," the governor said. Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones issued a statement saying he was being briefed on the situation.
The Greyhound Bus Station is located west of the city’s downtown area, across from The Diamond, Richmond’s minor league baseball stadium and within a former industrial area. It is located on a main thoroughfare connecting a residential district to the stadium and nearby restaurants.
Brendan Hamilton told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he was about to walk into the station when he heard two loud bangs, then saw flashes of light. He told the newspaper he then heard at least five more bangs. People then started to run out of the building, said Hamilton, 28, who was visiting from Baltimore.
Vincent Smith was working next door to the Greyhound station when he heard sirens and saw police cars buzzing by.
“The police units just poured in like a river,” said Smith, who works at the U-Haul Moving and Storage facility. “I went to the end of the lot and there must have been 30 units just a block away.”
Smith said he saw police officers carrying shields and assault weapons. An officer came by and ordered him and his co-workers to stay inside and lock the doors until they’re told it was safe again. By late afternoon, he said he had been locked inside for about an hour and a half.
City Councilwoman Reva Trammell called it “the saddest day in the city of Richmond.”
“State troopers doing their job and innocent people shot,” she said. “Why? This was a senseless act.”