JJ Jefferson, left, and John Painter dead, Two security guards killed in shooting at Bridgewater College in Virginia today

Two officers were shot Tuesday after Bridgewater College in Virginia reported an “active gunman” on campus, university officials said.

The victims – described as campus law enforcement officers and campus security personnel employed by the school – were shot and killed around 1:20 p.m. A small private liberal arts college about an hour northwest of Charlottesville, authorities said.

About 35 minutes later, a male suspect was taken into custody, Virginia State Police said.

Bridgewater College President David Bushman identified the officers as John Painter and JJ Jefferson in an email to students, according to the local Daily News Record. .

“These officers were close friends, what many of us call a ‘dynamic duo,'” Bushman wrote.

Alex Huleman, a student at the school at the time of the shooting, told media he heard numerous gunshots before the officers were killed.

“We looked out the window and saw two police officers on the ground and they ended up covering themselves with sheets,” Hellman, 21, said.

The student said he was in a classroom with about 20 other students when they heard “a bunch of gunshots” and immediately fell to the ground.

“We heard moans, we heard people talking, a few people blocked the door and we stood there for a while,” he said.

Bridgewater College told students to “shelter in place” around 1:25 p.m. and tweeted: “This is not a test.”

About 40 minutes after the incident was reported on the college’s Twitter account, the school notified students that someone had been arrested.

“For additional security reasons, law enforcement officers will be walking through the building. Do not panic. Follow police instructions,” the school wrote about 20 minutes later.

At around 4:30 p.m., the school notified students that the shelter-in-place order had been lifted and there was no longer a threat.

A photo taken by the local Daily News Record showed 10 police officers pointing guns at a shirtless man lying face down on the ground. It is not known if the man is the suspect.

Virginia Governor Glenn Yankin tweeted that he was monitoring the situation.


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Susan W. Lloyd