Investigators are still trying to piece together why 22-year-old part-time student Ross Truett Ashley ran up to Virginia Tech police Officer Deriek Crouse during a routine traffic stop and shot him, then took his own life. After all, he was "nice."
According to Ashley's classmate at Radford University, Ashley was a "nice, friendly" person. An old high school classmate describes Ashley as "always very nice" and reserved, though not a loner. The grandmother of one of Ashley's old football buddies recalls that that he was "a nice boy." An old friend says Ashley knew the Bible well. Shooting a cop for no reason is not what nice guys do.
However, it seems that Ashley had recently embarked upon a mission to change his image. Recently he shaved his head, possibly to look tough. He responded to annoyances by running down the hallways. The night before the shooting, he carjacked his landlord's Mercedes-Benz SUV.
He should have stuck with "nice."
[Images of Ashley (left) and Crouse (right) via AP]