Chad Dermyer, a Virginia state trooper, got shot to death on March 31, by James Brown III at a Greyhound bus station in Richmond, according to NBC News.
Two other troopers at the scene immediately responded to the incident and opened fire on Brown, who later died in the hospital. Two civilians also got hurt in the line of fire and were rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to CNN. It remains unclear who at the scene shot them.
Dermyer had been taking part in a police training mission on criminal interdiction practices. The training would teach troopers to be on the outlook for and interfere in any suspicious behavior, CNN reported.
“If you see some suspicious behavior, go over and engage and have a normal conversation,” was the assignment given to the state troopers at the day of the accident, according to the state police superintendent, Col. W. Steven Flaherty, according to The Washington Post.
NBC News mentioned that Dermyer approached Brown, who sat at the bus station, as part of the exercise. Flaherty explained that the conversation between the two lasted about 30 seconds before Brown pulled out a gun and shot Dermyer multiple times.
Dermyer was not wearing a bulletproof vest when he was shot, said Flaherty. While it is encouraged to wear a vest during a training session but is not required. The troopers were wearing plain clothes, not their uniforms at the time of the shooting according to USA Today. However, they were wearing their badges and carrying guns.
After the troopers shot Brown, he went back to the station’s restaurant, where the authorities were able to take him into custody and rush him to the hospital, where he died of his injuries, according to USA Today.
“Why he [Brown] reacted, why he had a gun in his waistband, we don’t know,” said Flaherty to The Richmond Times. The Washington Post reported Flaherty described the police unit Dermyer was a part of as a counter-terrorism and criminal interdiction unit. This unit gets assigned to public transit zones, such as the Greyhound station, and highways, where it is their job to recognize and talk to people regarded as suspicious and often intercept guns and drugs, according to Flaherty.
The motive for the shooting is still under investigation, but police did find two 30-round magazines and 143 rounds of ammunition in the suspect’s bags, according to CNN. There were, however, no drugs found.
Flaherty mentioned that this is an especially tough loss to take among the police department in Richmond, “[His colleagues] have taken this very hard because of how well he was liked. Former Marine, you know the type, the demeanor he had and the professional image.”
The incident drew an immense law enforcement presence on the case according to The Richmond Times, including agencies such as the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshall Service and the state police.
Editor’s Note: Information from the USA Today, NBC News, CNN, The Richmond Times and The Washington Post was used in this report.