Questions still loom over alleged gunman Ross Ashley’s mysterious crime spree.
Friends would “never in a million years” suspect that he allegedly robbed a real estate agency, hijacked a car, shot a Virginia Tech Police officer, and later took is own life.
“I’m completely confused about the whole situation. I couldn’t see anything that even remotely hinted at something like this happening. I lived with him for a year,” said Nick Hagood, a senior at Radford studying computer science and a former roommate of Ashley.
The two lived together last academic year in a university apartment. They were on good terms, but decided not to live together for the current year.
Another former roommate is equally unsure of his motive, but less shocked.
“I’m kind of surprised. I’m also not kind of surprised that he would do this,” said a student at Radford whose name has been changed for privacy purposes. Kramer initially did not initially want to come forward, but felt the need to express how he felt about Ross.
“I just want people to know that he wasn’t what people think he was. I don’t know what he did, or what motivated him, because it was random. Why would your drive all the way from Radford down (to Blacksburg)?" Kramer said. “I can’t see him doing this, but at the same time, I’m also not that surprised that he would. I guess he just had problems and didn’t have anyone to talk to."
In high school, Ashley was an active member of the high school football team. He was a starting running back for the varsity team his last two years at Spotsylvania High School. Although former classmates said he was “not the most outgoing,” students agreed that he was always social and a “a nice guy.”
“We had a class or two, but football was the best way I knew him,” said Steve Hook, a former classmate who was "OK friends” with him. They fell out of touch after graduation when Hook moved to Florida.
“I’d see him in the hall, we’d chat,” he said. “We hung out in study hall when I played football. We got along really well. He was really nice. I never saw him lose his temper. He was always in a pretty good mood.”
After graduation, Ashley attended University of Virginia Wise where he was a freshman senator to the Student Government Association. When he transferred to Radford University, he got along well with his randomly assigned roommate.
“We really didn’t talk that much the first couple of weeks because we were so busy. There really wasn’t a starting point, we just started to talk to each other more and more,” Kramer said.
He noticed he was not very outgoing, but seemed congenial.