Washington, DC — Police Officer Deriek W. Crouse’s name and the names of two other law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were unveiled Thursday on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial walls during the annual Unveiling Day ceremony.
Shortly after 12:15 p.m. on December 8, 2011, Officer Crouse was administering a routine traffic stop in a campus parking lot when he was ambushed in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack—and tragically became a fatal shooting. After firing at Officer Crouse, the gunman, a student visiting from a nearby college who was not involved in the traffic stop, fled the scene and was eventually found by authorities with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The 39-year-old devoted and well-regarded law enforcement professional joined the Virginia Tech Police Department six months after the infamous 2007 campus massacre, which took the lives of more than 30 people. Officer Crouse received an award in 2008 for his commitment to the department’s “Driving Under the Influence” efforts and was a member of the Virginia Tech Police Emergency Response Team since February 2011.
“On December 8, 2011, the Virginia Tech Police Department lost a dedicated and heroic officer in the line of duty,” said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which maintains the nation’s monument to fallen officers. “Officer Crouse is remembered today as a hero to so many … the colleagues he served with, the community he protected and the family members he loved so much—especially his wife Tina,” Mr. Floyd stated.
During Thursday’s ceremony, Dr. Sherwood Wilson, Vice President for Administrative Services at Virginia Tech, addressed family members and loved ones, colleagues, local citizens and police officials from the Virginia Tech Police Department gathered to witness the unveiling of Panel 64-East, Line 27 where Officer Crouse’s name is now inscribed.
“Service defined the life of Virginia Tech Police Officer Deriek Crouse …” said Dr. Wilson. “Deriek was truly concerned with the welfare and well-being of the students at Virginia Tech, and his caring attitude showed through on each and every shift he covered.”
“Today, we continue the process of remembrance and healing that began last December inBlacksburg, and which has now moved here toWashington,DC. As we unveil the engraved names of these heroes on the marble walls of this national monument, we send a very powerful signal that their service and sacrifice were not in vain and that they will be forever honored here at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial,” Mr. Floyd added.
The names of two other courageous law enforcement officers who fell in the line of duty in 2011, Albany (GA) Police Officer Terry Mae Lewis-Flemming and Riverside (MO) Master Patrolman Jefferson Gerald Taylor, were also engraved on the same panel.
All 362 newly-engraved names will be formally dedicated on the Memorial during the 24th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13, part of the National Police Week observances. The Memorial will then bear the names of 19,660 peace officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history. Approximately 20,000 people attend the event each May in Washington, DC, and it will be webcast live, allowing those who can‘t be there in person to experience the ceremony in their communities.