Police Officer John Painter

Police Officer John Painter

Bridgewater College Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch Tuesday, February 1, 2022

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John Painter

Police Officer John Painter and civilian Campus Safety Officer J.J. Jefferson were shot and killed while responding to a call involving a suspicious person carrying a duffel bag in a restricted area of Memorial Hall.

Officer Painter and CSO Jefferson contacted the subject. After a short interaction, the man opened fire on them, fatally wounding both. The man fled on foot into the town of Bridgewater. He was taken into custody after wading onto an island in the North River.

The man was a former Bridgewater College student. He was charged with two counts of capital murder and additional felonies related to the incident.

Officer Painter was a United States Air Force veteran and served in law enforcement for 20 years. He had formerly served as the police chief of the Grottoes Police Department. He was survived by his daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, granddaughter, grandson, and former spouse.


  • Age 55
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Charged with capital murder

suspicious person, trespasser

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God rest their souls.

Sgt. Robert A. Henne
Jersey City PD/Ret.

February 15, 2024

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