Va. Tech officer's family shattered by his killing

By The Associated Press | December 10, 2011 | 7:05 PM EST

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) — The widow of a slain Virginia Tech police officer says he was the love of her life and that they had exchanges text messages an hour before he was fatally shot by a man he apparently didn't know.

The Roanoke Times reports ( ) that Tina Crouse said Saturday her family has been shattered by the shooting death Thursday of Officer Deriek Crouse, a retired Army reservist. Police don't have a motive for why 22-year-old Ross Truett Ashley shot Crouse, seemingly at random, on Thursday and then killed himself.

Tina Crouse says she and her husband met in high school and reconnected years later after their first marriages didn't work out and he'd been deployed to Iraq. She told the newspaper, "Somebody took our life from us."

In addition to his wife, Deriek Crouse is survived by five children and stepchildren.