Search of student suspect didn’t save officer
Busted in drug case, teen was still able to pull gun, police say
A Texas Tech University student accused of killing a campus police officer was searched at some point before he pulled a gun while being booked on a drug charge at the police station, authorities said Thursday.
Lubbock Police Chief Greg Stevens said during a news conference that Hollis Daniels III was searched after campus police Officer Floyd East Jr. went to his dorm room Monday to check on his welfare, but he didn’t say whether the search occurred before or after East brought Daniels to the campus police s t ation.
Daniels, 19, wasn’t in handcuffs while East was booking him on the drug possession charge. Authorities say Daniels, who previously had been arrested by campus police on drug charges in September 2016, pulled a handgun, fatally shot East and fled. He was captured within two hours and charged with capital murder. He was being held Thursday on $5 million bail. Daniels admitted to the shooting, according to an affidavit, telling police he did “something illogical.”
On l ine j ail records didn’ t indicate whether Daniels has an attorney who could speak on his behalf. Messages left for his family in Seguin, near San Antonio, were not immediately returned.
Police also said Thursday that officers had stopped Daniels’ car on Sunday — a day before the shooting — because it matched the description of one driven by someone suspected of stealing a gun from a Lubbock home that day.
Police spokeswoman Kasie Whitley said Daniels had threatened someone at the home. Daniels was charged Wednesday in federal court on a count of possession of a stolen firearm. The indictment describes the gun as a .45, which is the caliber used in the shooting of East.
The officers who stopped Daniels’ car didn’t have probable cause or his permission to search the vehicle, and he was allowed to drive off.
East, the slain officer, had served as a guard at Texas Tech’s El Paso office until he was hired as a Texas Tech police officer in Lubbock on May 1. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
HOLLIS DANIELS III
FLOYD EAST JR.