Gunman, state trooper killed in shooting at Richmond Greyhound station

37-year-old VSP Trooper Chad Phillip Dermyer died in the hospital Thursday night as a result of his gunshot wounds

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A gunman and a Virginia State Trooper are dead after the man opened fire at a Greyhound bus station on North Boulevard in Richmond.

Virginia State Police confirm that 37-year-old Trooper Chad Phillip Dermyer died in the hospital Thursday night as a result of his gunshot wounds. Police have identified the gunman as 34-year-old James Brown III of Aurora, Illinois.

James Brown III (Photos: WLS-TV/Aurora Police Department)
James Brown III (Photos: WLS-TV/Aurora Police Department)

Dermyer, a native of Jackson, Michigan, is survived by his wife and two children. Trooper Dermyer is the 62nd Virginia State Police Trooper to be killed in the line of duty during the Department’s 84-year history.

VSP Trooper Chad Dermyer receives his graduation diploma from VSP Col. W. Steven Flaherty. (Photo courtesy VSP)
VSP Trooper Chad Dermyer receives his graduation diploma from VSP Col. W. Steven Flaherty. (Photo courtesy VSP)

Shooting Summary:

  • One gunman – shot, dead
  • One trooper – shot, dead
  • Two female bystanders – shot, injured
  • Two other bystanders — injured, unknown how

In addition to Dermyer, four other bystanders at the scene were also injured. Two of the bystanders were shot; it is unknown at this time how the other two were injured.

According to Virginia State Police, troopers were alerted at 2:45 p.m. to a shooting incident at the Greyhound Bus Station at 2910 N. Boulevard in the City of Richmond.

The incident occurred during a VSP training exercise, according to officials. During the exercise, troopers were questioning passengers getting off of buses. Dermyer approached a male subject around 2:40 p.m. just inside the front doors of the bus station. While talking with the male subject, the man pulled out a handgun and shot the trooper multiple times. The trooper was not wearing a bullet-proof vest. As the male subject continued firing his weapon, two state troopers, who were nearby, returned fire. The male gunman then moved into the terminal’s restaurant.

The shooter continued to be combative as police took him into custody and EMS crews tried to render aid to him. He was transported to VCU Medical Center, where he died later Thursday afternoon. His remains were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy and examination.

Dermyer was among about a dozen state police troopers participating in a specialized training on criminal interdiction practices. They had completed the classroom instruction and were conducting field practicals at the time the shooting occurred. Dermyer’s encounter with the male subject was part of the training and he was in uniform at the time of the shooting.

He had just recently transferred to the state police Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction Unit. Prior to joining the state police, Trooper Dermyer served with the City of Newport News Police Department and the Jackson, Mich., Police Department. Dermyer also served our nation for four years with the U.S. Marine Corps.

The FBI, a SWAT team, and Richmond and State Police officers were dispatched in response to the incident. Within moments, four ambulances had reported back to the VCU Medical Center with the injured victims.

“This is one of the saddest days I’ve seen in the city of Richmond, and I’ve been here all my life,” said City Council Member Reeva Trammell, who chairs the council’s Public Safety Committee.

A number of people tweeted their condolences as the story was unfolding:

Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement after it was released that Dermyer had succumbed to his injuries:

Dorothy and I are heartbroken by the senseless death of Virginia State Trooper Chad Dermyer, who died serving in the line of duty today in Richmond. Like so many brave Virginia men and women, Trooper Dermyer put on a uniform and risked his life every day to keep us safe, first as a U.S. Marine and then as a police officer. He was a husband, a father and a hero who was taken from us too soon.

“This is a loss that impacts us all. It should inspire prayers for the family, friends and fellow troopers who are mourning tonight, and gratitude for those who protect and serve. And as we grieve, we should also reflect, yet again, on how we can come together as a Commonwealth to end the senseless violence that costs the lives of too many mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.”

Authorities are holding a press conference to provide more details about the situation at 3:30 p.m. Friday. 8News will have a crew there.

The investigation is ongoing at this time.

Sarah King from the Capital News Service contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News on air and online for more details. 

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