RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — We’re learning more tonight about the kind of training exercise Virginia State Police trooper Chad Dermyer was conducting when he was gunned down inside a Greyhound bus station in Richmond Thursday afternoon.
A former FBI specialist tells 8News Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien the exercise was a criminal interdiction training exercise. Retired FBI agent Michael Tabman says it’s a tactic officers commonly used to spot suspicious people and/or activities in crowded places, like bus stations or airports.
“They’re going to ask them questions, where are you going? Where are you from? What bags are you carrying? How long are you staying?” Tabman explained.
Unfortunately, Dermyer’s confrontation with a possible suspect instantly turned violent. Officials tell 8News the suspect handed Dermyer something and then opened fire, shooting Dermyer in the chest. Two other female bystanders were also struck.
Nearby troopers quickly returned fire and struck the gunman, who later died at the hospital, along with Dermyer.
Shooting at Richmond Greyhound bus station
Tabman was surprised to learn Dermyer was not wearing a bulletproof vest. He says he always wore one during those type of exercises. And while he doesn’t fault Virginia State Police, he suspects the department will likely be reviewing procedures and policies for its criminal interdiction program.
“We may make 100 of these stops and never find anything, and maybe we let our guard down a little bit, so I think they may review this and say what did we do wrong here, if anything, and what can we tighten up,” Tabman said.
A spokesperson for Greyhound tells 8News they were not made aware of any scheduled training at the bus station.