08/21/2006

Suspected cop killer shuts down Virginia Tech campus

The Associated Press


Escaped inmate William Morva, is escorted out of the Montgomery County magistrate's office Monday, Aug. 21, 2006, in Christiansburg, Va. After a massive manhunt that shut down the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., on the first day of classes, police on Monday captured Morva, an escapee suspected in the slayings of a hospital guard and a sheriff's deputy. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech shut down its campus Monday and ordered everyone to remain inside as authorities searched for an escaped inmate suspected of killing a hospital guard and a sheriff's deputy.

William Morva, 24, had been seen near the campus, authorities said.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Cpl. Eric E. Sutphin was closing in on him Monday morning along a trail off the university campus when he was fatally shot, the sheriff's department said.

Officials canceled the first day of classes for the more than 25,000 students at Virginia Tech as a precaution.

"We did close the campus and asked people to stay in dorms and academic areas," campus Police Lt. Vincent Houston told The Associated Press.

Morva, an inmate at Montgomery County Jail, escaped from a hospital early Sunday after overpowering a sheriff's deputy taking the deputy's gun and then shooting an unarmed hospital security guard, authorities said. He had been taken to Montgomery Regional Hospital for treatment of a sprained leg and wrist.

Police narrowed their search to an area that includes the university campus, about one block from the Blacksburg Police Station.

Authorities swept the area using helicopters and dogs.

"Whatever it takes, until he's caught," said police Lt. Joe Davis.

Morva had been jailed awaiting trial on charges of attempting to rob a store last year.

The hospital security, Derrick McFarland, 26, was shot and killed when he tried to help the deputy Morva had overpowered. The deputy was in stable condition with injuries he suffered in the attack.

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