Mother, son killed in double shooting: sources

Open thank you letter from the Dermyer family

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The family of Trooper Chad P. Dermyer would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the nation, State of Virginia, local communities and especially Gloucester County for all the outpour of love and support we have received during the past week:

"This past week has been extremely difficult on our family. Many of you knew Chad personally and understand how truly special he was, not simply as a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend, but also as a man who was deeply committed to protecting others and bringing people and communities together.

That is why we want to acknowledge and express our deep appreciation for the tremendous compassion and patriotism displayed by the community this past week, exactly mirroring those traits that made Chad exceptional. Our family felt the warm embrace, compassion and respect for him as we grieved his death.

Virginia State Police trooper Chad Dermyer

Virginia State Police trooper Chad Dermyer

The outpouring of affection was evident not simply in the streets lined with people, but also in the everyday stories that people shared with us—kind words of how Chad lent a hand, told a joke, or how he simply showed up. Everyday. They served as validation to us and to his legacy. It has been our honor to stand with you and salute Chad.

Chad had many talents and gifts, which made him not only a loving and devoted family man, but also a remarkable trooper. He had a passion for helping others and that is why he chose to serve in the Marines as well as law enforcement. He was guided by his innate compassion and empathy for others, and his good instincts made him standout among his peers.

Chad always brought people together with his gentle nature and kind heart. He saw the good in everyone he met and looked for ways to connect with those around him. We heard so many stories this week about Chad that showcased his broad reach: from playing with a youth basketball team to engaging with this fellow troopers to checking in on a community member’s grandson. The difference he made was often expressed in the little things he did every day.

Chad loved sports, especially soccer and the Detroit Lions. He shared this love of sports with his children. He was an assistant coach for his son’s soccer team and loved watching his daughter dance.

We were so surprised by how many of you traveled across the country to be here for Chad. The showing of support from law enforcement throughout the nation reinforced how special that brotherhood is and we are eternally grateful.

We’d like to thank so many of you who supported us this week. Thank you to Governor Terry McAuliffe for honoring Chad. And to the Virginia State Police who were remarkable with their efforts to comfort our family. We appreciate the respect you gave our family, ensuring that every need was attended to and enabling us the privacy and freedom our family needed to grieve. We ask for continued privacy during this time.

The honor that you all demonstrated was a fitting tribute to a man who made a big impression through small acts.

Thank you to everyone who helped give our hero a hero’s farewell. We will forever be a part of this community that Chad was so proud to serve."

With all of our love,

The Dermyer family.

Open letter from Chad Dermyer’s brother

"My brother, Chad, is an amazing person. He spent his entire life protecting others. He joined the Marine Corps out of high school to fight for our freedom, and then chose a career in law enforcement to further help protect us here at home. He was a gentle outgoing person who would do anything for anyone. I was truly blessed to have him as a little brother and lucky to have him as my best friend. At this time it is very difficult to speak about it. I may be more comfortable speaking at a later time.

Chad was a loving, caring, kind son, brother, father, uncle, cousin, and friend. It is a great loss to the world, even greater to those who were lucky enough to know him and be loved by him."

John Dermyer Jr.