This was the man behind the trigger during Thursday’s shooting at Virginia Tech.
Police say Ross Truett Ashley, 22, stole a car at gunpoint Wednesday from his landlord’s office in what would be a precursor to the events a day later: On Thursday, police say he killed the police officer, then turned the gun on himself in a parking lot on the campus.
“Ross wasn’t that kind of person. He was friendly, nice,” said Nic Robinson, a 21-year-old history major at Radford University preparing for law school. “Obviously, he had his bad days, but it was the same as anyone else having those days.”
The most notable setback in his life that Robinson knew about was Ashley’s breakup over the summer with his girlfriend. It clearly hurt him, she said, but she never saw him obsess over it.
There were other issues in Ashley’s life, however, that he wasn’t as forthcoming about, she said.
“We all have our family problems, so the way that he was saying it just made it kind of seem like, ‘just another thing to add to the list,” she said. “He never made anything sound like, ‘This is serious, I need you to sit down.’”
Ashley never talked about guns or weapons, and she said she never knew whether he owned or knew how to use one. He also didn’t use drugs or drink heavily.
R.I.P. to the officer killed, condolences to the both families.