A 34-year-old Illinois man was shot dead on March 31 after he opened fire at a Richmond, Virginia, Greyhound bus station, killing a Virginia state trooper.
James Brown III of Aurora, Illinois, was traveling alone from North Carolina to Chicago when the incident occurred, media reports say.
The victim was State Trooper Chad Dermyer, 37, and two other women were shot in the exchange of fire. The women are expected to recover, and one was released from hospital on April 1, WLS reports.
Najee Wilson, who was on a bus pulling into the station when the shooting occurred, heard three gunshots.
“We heard a lot of people screaming,” Wilson said, according to WLS. “It definitely was a scary experience.”
Brown's aunt, Edith Brown, told WTVR that, "he always liked the criminal side.
She allowed Brown to live with her, but told him he had to leave in December 2015.
“He had a lot of anger about the police in the past,” she added. “He pretty much thought he wanted to be infamous ... in terms of having a showdown. He always praised those people who got into shoot outs with police.”
Brown has a long criminal past. In 2001, authorities charged him for attempted murder, WLS reports.
In 2006, he was charged with illegal possession of a weapon or body armor, WLS reports, and in 2011, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman. Court records indicate he sat on his girlfriend’s belly and tried to choke her, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“He said he would never go back to prison again,” Edith told WTVR. “He would fight it out with them.”
Terry Pryor, who has known Brown since he was a teenager, was not entirely surprised by the news.
“In this neighborhood here, we have a big problem with the police, actually," Pryor told WLS. "So the attitude toward the cops here is not very pleasant."
After the shooting, police found Brown’s weapon in his possession, along with 143 rounds of ammunition. The weapon was legally purchased 13 months ago, but not by Brown.
Dermyer was a former marine and had two children, according to the Chicago Tribune. He was participating in a counterterrorism training exercise with 16 other troopers when the altercation with Brown occurred.