08/21/2006

Escaped prisoner, cop killer, caught in Virginia

The Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Virginia- A man wanted in the shooting deaths of a hospital guard and a sheriff's deputy is in custody, police in Blacksburg, Virginia, said.

Virginia Tech shut down its campus earlier Monday and ordered everyone to remain inside as authorities searched for the suspect.

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

Montgomery County Sheriff's Cpl. Eric E. Sutphin was closing in on the fugitive Monday morning along a trail off the university campus when he was fatally shot, the sheriff's department said. (Watch SWAT police search for the suspected cop killer -- 1:49)

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

Morva, an inmate at Montgomery County Jail, had been taken from the jail to Montgomery Regional Hospital for treatment of a sprained leg and wrist.

He escaped early Sunday after overpowering a sheriff's deputy, taking the deputy's gun and then shooting the unarmed hospital security guard, authorities said. The hospital guard was identified as Derrick McFarland, 26. The deputy was in stable condition with injuries he suffered in the attack.

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

Authorities used helicopters and dogs to sweep an area that included the university campus, about one block from the Blacksburg Police Station.

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