UPDATE: Suspects arrested after fatal attack on ODU student near campus

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Norfolk, Va. – Two people have been arrested after an ODU student died Sunday after an attack near campus.

Police say Paul Johnson, 20, was hit in the head around 1 a.m. Sunday while walking in the 1000 block of W. 48th Street. He was a block from his apartment when he was attacked.

The suspects, David Grimm Jr., 21, and Christopher Johnson, 20, have both been arrested.

Johnson turned himself in to the Norfolk Police Department and has been charged with misdemeanor assault. He was released around 4:30 a.m. Monday morning on a $1,500 secured bond.

Grimm was arrested by the Prince William County Police Department and is being charged with 2nd degree murder. He is currently going through the booking process.

Family told NewsChannel 3 that Paul Johnson was a sophomore at ODU majoring in mathematics. He was from a family of six boys in Richmond. He was the third from the oldest.

After the attack, police say he was rushed to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, but died at 2:26 p.m.

A Medical Examiner has announced that his cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

Workers said the cameras at 7-Eleven nearby were not rolling, but at The Edge Nightclub they were. The manager at The Edge, Zach Cannon, believes some of the attackers were caught on tape. He says they gave detectives a copy.

“We have outside cameras and after the attack some of the assailants ran through our back parking lot so they wanted to look at some of our footage,” said Cannon.

ODU sent an alert out about the attack around 4:20 a.m.

It is the seventh alert students have received because of violence near campus this school year. Arrests have only been made in one of the cases.

Many students are calling for increased patrols, and say that perhaps this most tragedy will finally get results.

ODU’s President John Broderick sent an email to the campus community Sunday. It said in part, "We are all outraged by this senseless tragedy and I know you join me in sending your heartfelt condolences to Paul`s family and friends…earlier today, I and members of the university administration met with the Norfolk City Manager and Chief of Police, who promised to devote additional police resources to this investigation and to engage in further dialogue with the university community about safety issues and concerns."

Anyone with information about the assault or who was in the area is being asked to contact the Crimeline at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or the ODU police department at 757-683-4000.

ODU President John R. Broderick released a statement on Monday afternoon regarding Johnson's death:

“Words cannot express our shock and grief at the senseless loss of ODU student Paul Johnson. Such violence has no place in education, and the Old Dominion community will not tolerate it. I am extremely grateful to the Norfolk Police, and their joint investigative efforts with ODU Police that led to the quick arrests of two suspects. I also want to acknowledge the many students who provided information and assistance to the investigation. Our work, however, does not and will not end here. The City of Norfolk and Old Dominion have pledged to work with the campus and neighboring communities to address issues of concern.”


  • Mindy Peach

    So again……..it takes someone dying before police will increase their patrols around ODU !! I am just wondering how this will affect the future enrollments. My most heartfelt condolences go out to this family in their loss of a promising young son.

  • Kat Martin

    Yes Mindy, I wonder as well. Paul is my cousin’s son. My daughter has dreams of attending ODU in a couple of years and studying Marine Biology. She also is a math whiz. I of course am having second and thrid thoughts.

  • Vickie

    Unfortunately Paul is not the only student who has passed due to the violence on and surrounding the campus (my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends). There may be an increase in security; however, it does not seem obvious given these recent events (death of a student and numerous violent attacks this year thus far, etc.). I graduated from ODU and my husband is attending their graduate school and has already received several alarming emails concerning violent attacks on and nearby campus. I wouldn’t be surprised if this impacted enrollment. At this point I would not feel comfortable allowing my children to attend ODU given these unresolved safety issues.

  • EDubb

    Graduated from ODU. Proud of it. Will NOT send my kids there.
    There is a growing (at least perceived) problem with violence on and around campus for the past decade and the school is always “working with the community” and “devoting more police resources”. Yeah right.
    It was safer in the 80s when Hampton Blvd was truly rough.

  • Ray

    Good thing you aren’t a detective Sean, one of the males(chase Johnson) is a interracial kid, might I add is the one charged with the misdemeanor . David Grimm is a white male. Stop assuming every senseless act is committed by a black person.

  • J. Henderson

    There Should Be ” Extra Police Security From 8 PM To 8 AM ” And More Security Cameras Should Be In Place For All Parking Lots And Businesses . And Food Places In The Area. . Also , All The Dorms For College Students, Homes , And Apartments In This Area Where Students And Families Live Need More Police Security At Night To 8 A. M. More Police Should Be On Site Especially From Mellrose Ave.49th, 48th, 47th,46th,45th, 44th, 43rd, 42rd, 41st, 40th, 39th, And 38th. Also , Every Business Should Be Made To Have At Least Three Security Camera One Inside And Two Camera Outside Because There Are So Many College Students And Families That Live There . If Every Business There Had A On Site Security Guard During The Night Hours To Like 8 A.M.
    Especially Maybe The Beaten Of Paul Johnson Could Have Been Stop .A Senseless Death…. Life Was Taking From A 20 Year Old…. I Feel The Loss Because I Am The Mother Of Current College Students…..

  • B. DeLoach

    My son was a student at ODU in 2011. In his junior year he was gravely injured by getting shot. He is still recuperating. There appears to be no one of authority who can help in these violent attacks on our children. ODU is a good school but becuse of the open campus concept the violence in the streets spill over to our children. Most students attending ODU fall victim and prey to cowards who see them as prey. Our children are targeted the minute they step across Hampton Blvd. Mr Broderick, we can no longer toletate what is happening to our children. It is egregious that with so mamy educators on campus, that no one can figure out what to do and how to do it. Please unite with other campus administrators and figure out what to do.

  • brenda

    My son was also robbed and beat in his senior year at odu, his jaw was broken in 2 places and lost a tooth. One of the guys was caught and got 3 months in jail, big deal, my son had surgery and mouth wide for 6 weeks plus had to go through a tooth implant. I can’t believe how bad it is at that campus, they need to do something asap or they will be losing many potential students. I can’t even image how the family of that young man feels. My heart goes out to them. I hope they lock that guy up for life! And why is the other guy out on bail? What’s wrong with this country?

  • Eleanor Bell

    Why aren’t the pictures of the accused in the latest tradegy at ODU being posted, the murder of Johnson. They are of age. Who are they related to that their pictures can’t be shown. The names are there, where are the pictures?

  • Lisa

    People, the guys that committed this senseless crime were WHITE and not from this area; AND, yes, race does matter in this case because it is frequently referred to that the surrounding community (mostly Blacks) is committing these crimes on the ODU students – this is why there was secrecy in releasing these mug shots. They wanted us to believe the hype. There have been plenty of incidences were Black suspect’s photos were released to the public JUST on suspicion alone. I smell a rat in this case. AND, even after an arrest was made while the story was being broadcasted (meaning that they already had the probable cause), their mug shots were never posted to the public on the news – however, plenty of Black suspects photos are posted even if there is no proof to make an arrest or indictment. We are NOT falling for that excuse. Go Figure! Anyone that disagrees must be WHITE and offended by what I am posting. Reality is biting at them (a hit dog will holler)!

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