BLACKSBURG, Va.

- A gunman killed a police officer in a Virginia Tech parking lot yesterday and was found dead nearby in a baffling attack that sent shudders through the campus nearly five years after it was the scene of the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

The shooting took place on the same day that Virginia Tech officials were in Washington, fighting a government fine over their alleged mishandling of the 2007 bloodbath.

The officer was killed after pulling a driver over in a traffic stop. The gunman - who was not involved in the traffic stop - walked into the parking lot and shot the officer, Sgt. Robert Carpentieri said. Police wouldn't talk about a motive.

A law-enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that the gunman was dead, but wouldn't say how.

It appeared that the gunman died about a quarter-mile away from the traffic stop, in another school parking lot, where officials said that a man was found dead with a gun nearby. Although police at a news conference wouldn't confirm that the second body was the gunman, Carpentieri said, "You can kind of read between the lines."