Neighbors Reflect on Ross Ashley - WSET.com - ABC13

Neighbors Reflect on Ross Ashley

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Ashley's Apartment Ashley's Apartment
Ross Ashley Ross Ashley

Reporter: Rachel Schaerr | Videographer: Daniel Heffner

Radford, VA - Virginia State Police say the man who shot and killed a Virginia Tech officer before turning the gun on himself was a quiet person who kept to himself.

Ross Truett Ashley, a 22-year-old Radford University student, gunned down Officer Deriek Crouse in his patrol car Thursday while Crouse was conducting a routine traffic stop.

Neighbors say Ashley was quiet, kept to himself, and smoked cigarettes outside of his apartment. But even in hindsight, there was no indication the business management major would end his life and an officer's in such a public way.

"He was really quiet," said Shawn Hurley. "Maybe if he had been more outgoing people would have known that perhaps something could have been wrong."

Hurley only had a few encounters with the neighbor in Apartment 20, a particularly strange one stands out in his mind.

"I opened my door to hear him talking on his phone and he was just cursing to himself really loudly," Hurley said. "So I don't know if he was talking to himself or on the phone. But it's kind of bizarre."

State police say on Wednesday, Ashley came to the Gilbert Real Estate Office on Calhoun Street, stole a Mercedes SUV at gunpoint, and the next day went to Virginia Tech where he shot and killed Officer Crouse.

"Stealing the car is one thing," Hurley said. "Murder is something entirely different. So it's kind of surreal I guess."

Gilbert Real Estate --  the place where the carjacking occurred -- owned the apartment Ashley lived in.  

Neighbors say he looks nothing like the picture released by state police. He apparently had recently shaved his head. 
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