New information is coming out about the training that brought Virginia State Police Trooper Chad Dermyer to the Greyhound station in Richmond and ultimately cost him his life.
There has been one question on a lot of people's minds: If Trooper Dermyer was shot in the chest, as sources have told 13News Now, why wouldn't a bulletproof vest have protected him? We've learned Dermyer was not wearing one.
Col. W. Steven Flaherty, the head of Virginia State Police, says while policy encourages wearing a vest, it does not require it. It appears Dermyer chose not to wear one in this training setting.
The 37-year-old was training for a specialized State Police team at the Greyhound bus station on Boulevard in Richmond Thursday afternoon.
Dermyer was part of the counterterrorism and criminal interdiction unit. Its members are the guys who spot people with drugs and guns on the streets. They're trained to look for suspicious activity. We're told about a dozen of them had already completed the classroom portion of the training.
They were taking what they learned into the field for the practical portion. That's when Trooper Dermyer encountered the man who would eventually take his life.
“In today's exercise, if you see some suspicious activity go over and engage and have a conversation,” Col. Flaherty explained at a press conference late Thursday. “That was what was taking place here and in the very early stages of the conversation.”
Col. Flaherty believes it was a matter of just about 30 seconds or so, a brief conversation of 'Hey, how are you? Where are you going?' before the suspect started firing. Dermyer was hit at close range, with no vest to protect him.
When this investigation is all over, Flaherty says he will review exactly what happened and see what if anything can be done differently with the training.
Pray Vigil to honor fallen trooper
A prayer vigil is being organized for a Virginia State trooper who was fatally shot a busy bus terminal in Richmond.
Organizers say a vigil for Trooper Chad P. Dermyer will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday across from the Greyhound Bus terminal where the shooting occurred Thursday.
Charles Willis is executive director of United Communities Against Crime, a Richmond-based group that advocates for anti-violence initiatives and is helping to organize the vigil.
Willis said he expects several hundred people to come out. He said the trooper's death has "touched so many folks."
People are being asked to wear navy blue and to bring a single blue or white rose.
Virginia State Police say Dermyer is the 62nd Trooper to be killed in the line of duty during the Department's 84-year history. In honor of Trooper Dermyer, his patrol car is currently on display in front of the Virginia State Police Administrative Headquarters in North Chesterfield County.
Funeral arrangements are still pending at this time.
FULL COVERAGE: Trooper slain in Richmond bus station shooting
- Virginia State Trooper killed in shooting
- VSP Trooper was training at time of shooting
- Police ID gunman in deadly bus station shooting
- Student injured was headed to W&M track meet
- Trooper who died once saved dog on Interstate
- PHOTOS: Deadly shooting at Richmond bus terminal
- PHOTOS: Remembering Virginia State Trooper Chad Dermyer