Student questioned earlier about gun
DALLAS — Lubbock police officers questioned a Texas Tech University student about a stolen gun hours before he fatally shot a campus police officer, authorities said Thursday.
Hollis Daniels III was driving a car that matched the description of one driven by a person suspected of stealing a gun Sunday evening from a Lubbock home, city Police Chief Greg Stevens said at a news conference. He said Daniels, 19, apparently threatened someone at the home, but he declined to say whether Daniels is suspected of stealing that gun.
The officers who stopped Daniels’ car later let him drive off because they didn’t have probable cause or Daniels’ permission to search his car, Stevens said.
“Ultimately, it would have been unconstitutional for the officers to search the vehicle,” he said.
On Monday night, campus police officer Floyd East Jr. went to check on Daniels because there had been reports of a man acting erratically who may be armed. While there, he found drugs and drug paraphernalia, and he arrested Daniels for possession and took him to the station, authorities said.
Stevens said Daniels was searched, but he declined to say whether it was before or after he and East left for the station.
“He was searched during his time in custody but unfortunately he was able to gain access to a weapon,” Stevens said.
While East was booking Daniels, who wasn’t handcuffed, Daniels pulled a gun and shot him before fleeing. He was captured within two hours and faces a charge of capital murder of a peace officer. He’s being held with bail set at $5 million. Court records don’t indicate whether Daniels has an attorney, and his family in Seguin, near San Antonio, hasn’t replied to phone messages seeking comment.
In addition to the state murder charge, Daniels was charged Wednesday with a federal count of possession of a stolen firearm.
School officials said Thursday that they’ll conduct an external review of police procedures after Monday’s events in the hopes of improving safety and security at the campus.