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UPDATE: Texas Tech Police Officer Fatally Shot by Student

It is unclear if the Texas Tech student used his own weapon or stole one from the campus police station.

UPDATE: Texas Tech Police Officer Fatally Shot by Student

10/13 UPDATE: The man who admitted to shooting Texas Tech Police Officer Floyd East Jr. had been searched prior to the shooting and was involved in a traffic stop with Lubbock County police hours before the incident.

The shooter, Hollis Daniels, was questioned by city police because he was driving a vehicle that matched the description of a car being driven by a person accused of stealing a gun from a local home the day before, reports statesman.com.

Officers allowed Daniels go after questioning because they didn’t have probably cause or permission to search his car.

“Ultimately, it would have been unconstitutional for the officers to search the vehicle,” city police Chief Greg Stevens said.

Later that night, Officer East Jr. responded to reports of a man acting erratically who may be armed in a dorm room. Daniels was taken into custody after East Jr. discovered drug paraphernalia in his dorm room.

Stevens said Daniels was searched at some point, but declined to say whether it was before or after East left the dorm room to bring Daniels to the station.

“He was searched during his time in custody but unfortunately he was able to gain access to a weapon,” Stevens said.

Daniels was not handcuffed as he was being booked. During that time, police say he pulled out a gun and fatally shot East Jr.

After Daniels’ arrest, he was charged with both capital murder of a peace officer and possession of a stolen firearm. The indictment shows the gun was a .45, the same caliber used to kill East.

Campus Safety will continue to provide updates as more details of the tragedy become available.

A Texas Tech University police officer was killed Monday by a student who’d been taken to campus police headquarters.

Police say the student, 19-year-old Hollis A. Daniels, was being processed for drug charges when he pulled out a gun and shot 48-year-old Officer Floyd East Jr.

Daniels, who has been charged with capital murder of a peace officer, admitted to the murder today, telling investigators he had done “something illogical” and that “he was the one that shot their friend,” reports CBS News.

“It is with a heavy heart we identify the officer fatally shot last night as Texas Tech police officer Floyd East, Jr.,” Texas Tech Police Chief Kyle Bonath said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

East had been with Texas Tech for nearly three years, beginning as a security guard in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas before being hired as a Texas Tech police officer. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

The tragedy occurred just before 8 p.m. local time Monday.

A school official said campus police including Officer East were called to a student’s dorm room for a “welfare check”, where they discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia. They took the student, Daniels, into custody and brought him to the Texas Tech Police Department building.

Det. Thomas Bonds said Daniels was not handcuffed at the time Officer East was filling out paperwork. A second officer left the room, then heard a loud bang. When he reentered the room, he found East with a serious head wound. East’s body camera was missing but his service weapon was still holstered.

“During this time, the suspect pulled a gun and mortally shot [Officer East],” Campus Police Chief Kyle Bonath said. “The suspect fled on foot and was later apprehended by TTPD near the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.”

Police have not clarified if Daniels used his own gun or one belonging to the campus police department.

A lockdown was called at the Lubbock campus for slightly more than an hour as police searched for Daniels.

Around 9:30 p.m., Daniels was tackled as he was running away by a pursuing Texas Tech police officer and arrested near Jones AT&T Stadium. The body camera was recovered at the scene, and Lubbock police officers assisted in bringing Daniels into custody.

Daniels lived in Texas Tech’s Talkington Hall, a newer residence hall that allows concealed guns as part of the school’s campus carry policy, reports kxan.com. Daniels was too young to carry a concealed handgun in the state, however, as the recently-implemented campus carry law requires persons to be at least 21 years of age.

Lubbock County sheriff’s officials said Daniels is a freshman at Texas Tech from Seguin, near San Antonio.

President Schovanec released the following statement to the community this morning:

 

About the Author

Contact:

Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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3 responses to “UPDATE: Texas Tech Police Officer Fatally Shot by Student”

  1. Gene harris says:

    This is an unfortunate, very sad and needless event. I am a retired police sergeant and one of the cardinal rules for an arrest is a thorough search immediately which evidently didn’t happen. Killers come in all shapes, sizes, sex, race, student and non-student alike.

    Thankfully the killer was caught to face prosecution.

  2. L. Nelson says:

    This individual was ineligible to have a Concealed Handgun License, as he was not 21, as required by Texas Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter H.

  3. sean swartz says:

    Seems to me there were several breeches of protocol here. The student was not searched, was not handcuffed, was not placed in a secure area(ie) holding pen or a separate room. IF maybe had this been done; this tragedy could have been avoided. This is a dam shame!

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