Feb. 3 (UPI) — A 27-year-old man accused of killing two people including a police officer at Virginia’s Bridgewater College on Tuesday has been arraigned.
Alexander Wyatt Campbell made his first court appearance via video conference on Wednesday when he appeared before a Rockingham County court that appointed him an attorney who requested a mental health evaluation be conducted, NBC12 reported.
The arraignment came a day after Campbell was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder, one count of first-degree murder and one count of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection to a shooting.
Virginia State Police said the shooting occurred at about 1:20 p.m. when a Bridgewater College police officer and a campus safety officer were responding to a call concerning a suspicious man on school grounds.
Campbell is accused of shooting the two men following a brief interaction with them, then fleeing the scene on foot.
Bridgewater College President David Bushman identified the slain men as campus police officer John Painter and campus safety officer J.J. Jefferson.
“These officers were close friends, known to many of us as ‘the dynamic duo,'” Bushman said in a statement. “John was J.J.’s best man in his wedding this year. They were beloved by students, faculty and staff.”
“This is a sad and dark day for Bridgewater College,” he continued.
Police said after Campbell fled the scene, he escaped to a North River island where he was arrested.
At the time of his arrest, Campbell was suffering from a gunshot wound but authorities were still working to determine if he was shot by the Bridgewater College police officer or suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Virginia State Police said.
After Campbell was arrested, he was transported to Rockingham Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.
“Multiple firearms associated with Campbell” have also been recovered as evidence, police said.
Bushman said there are many questions that remain about the shooting, but one thing he knows is that “we will rally around one another and support each other as we move forward from this.”
“We are all victims, though some much more than others, and it will be important that we each seek to find comfort and support in the ways most meaningful for us,” he said.