Po­lice re­ceived re­port of er­ratic stu­dent with weapon

El Dorado News-Times - - Business -

DAL­LAS (AP) — A Texas Tech Univer­sity stu­dent con­fessed to killing a cam­pus po­lice of­fi­cer who had been book­ing him on a drug pos­ses­sion charge, telling de­tec­tives he had done "some­thing il­log­i­cal" and that "he was the one that shot their friend," an in­ves­ti­ga­tor said.

In an af­fi­davit re­leased Tues­day, Det. Thomas Bonds of the Lub­bock city po­lice depart­ment said Hol­lis Daniels III con­fessed to killing Of­fi­cer Floyd East Jr. after his re­cap­ture Monday night.

Cam­pus Po­lice Chief Kyle Bonath said at a news conference Tues­day that his depart­ment re­ceived re­ports of a stu­dent act­ing er­rat­i­cally who might have a weapon. Univer­sity of­fi­cials said East went to Daniels' room to per­form a wel­fare check and found ev­i­dence of drugs and drug para­pher­na­lia. East ar­rested Daniels and took him to the cam­pus po­lice sta­tion to book him.

Ac­cord­ing to Bonds, the 19-year-old wasn't hand­cuffed while East was pro­cess­ing the pa­per­work. An­other of­fi­cer left the room and then heard a loud bang. When he re­turned, he found East mor­tally wounded and Daniels gone. East's body cam­era was also miss­ing, but his ser­vice weapon was still hol­stered.

Bonath said Daniels "pulled a gun" and shot East at the sta­tion, but he didn't spec­ify whether it was a gun Daniels had on him or one that be­longed to the depart­ment. He also didn't say whether East checked Daniels for weapons when ar­rest­ing him, and he didn't take ques­tions.

The cam­pus was locked down for about an hour Monday night and the school's more than 36,000 stu­dents were ordered to shel­ter in place dur­ing the search.

Daniels was re­cap­tured fol­low­ing a foot chase near the po­lice sta­tion. He had the body cam­era and a hand­gun, Bonds wrote.

Bonath said that dur­ing the lock­down, the univer­sity's coun­sel­ing cen­ter told po­lice that Daniels' fam­ily had called to say he might be sui­ci­dal and have a gun. It wasn't clear whether the chief meant they called the cen­ter be­fore or after East was shot, and school of­fi­cials didn't re­spond to mes­sages seek­ing ad­di­tional details.

Daniels, who is from the San An­to­nio sub­urb of Seguin, is charged with cap­i­tal mur­der of a peace of­fi­cer and is be­ing held in the Lub­bock County jail on a $5 mil­lion bond. On­line jail records don't in­di­cate whether he has an at­tor­ney who can speak on his be­half.

He's had prior run-ins with the law. Daniels was charged two years ago in Guadalupe County, which in­cludes Seguin, with pos­ses­sion of drug para­pher­na­lia, but the case was dis­missed. The Lub­bock County sher­iff's of­fice con­firmed that Daniels was ar­rested in Sept. 2016 on charges of mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion and pos­ses­sion of drug para­pher­na­lia.

Daniels is the son of H. A. "Dan" Daniels, a well­known fig­ure in Seguin. The el­der Daniels was a city coun­cil­man from 1998 to 2002 and again from 2006 to 2010, when term lim­its pre­vented him from run­ning for re-elec­tion. He didn't im­me­di­ately re­ply to phone mes­sages seek­ing com­ment that were left at a fam­ily busi­ness and calls to the fam­ily's home got a busy sig­nal.

The school's pres­i­dent, Lawrence Schovanec, said East's fam­ily is in the thoughts and prayers of the Texas Tech com­mu­nity. East, 48, joined the depart­ment as a guard at the El Paso of­fice in 2015 and be­came an of­fi­cer in May. It was his first job in law en­force­ment, ac­cord­ing to the Texas Com­mis­sion on Law En­force­ment. Schovanec said East was mar­ried with two young daugh­ters.

"I want to ex­press my deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the Texas Tech Po­lice Depart­ment, Lub­bock Po­lice Depart­ment, Lub­bock Sher­riff's Of­fice, and other state and fed­eral law en­force­ment of­fi­cials for their re­sponse," Schovanec said.

Gov. Greg Ab­bott is­sued a state­ment ex­press­ing his con­do­lences and say­ing he had mo­bi­lized state law en­force­ment re­sources to aid in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. State At­tor­ney General Ken Pax­ton went to the school Tues­day to show sup­port.

Texas passed a law last year al­low­ing stu­dents with con­cealed carry per­mits to bring guns into univer­sity class­rooms and build­ings. But a per­son must be at least 21 years old to get a con­cealed carry per­mit in Texas, so Daniels wouldn't qual­ify.

The state Demo­cratic Party apol­o­gized Tues­day for a tweet it sent link­ing the cam­pus carry law to Monday's shoot­ing. The party had tweeted that al­low­ing guns on col­lege cam­puses "was a dumb and dan­ger­ous idea" but later back­tracked and deleted the tweet.

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