Texas Tech student arrested, accused of killing campus officer

LUBBOCK, Texas (KXAN) — A 19-year-old student at a West Texas university has been charged with capital murder of a peace officer in the shooting of a campus officer at the school’s police headquarters.

Texas Tech University officials identified the gunman as Hollis Daniels, who was booked into the Lubbock County jail early Tuesday. Online jail records don’t indicate if he has an attorney to comment on his behalf.

Texas Tech police say on Tuesday evening, they received information about a student acting erratically who was reported to be in possession of a weapon. As the officers were conducting the welfare check at the dorm, they found evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

“At this point, the student showed up and after being identified, he was also found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and was arrested and subsequently transported to TTPD,” said Texas Tech Police Chief Kyle Bonath in a briefing Tuesday afternoon.

Texas Tech Police Officer Floyd East Jr. was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 9, 2017. (Texas Tech)
Texas Tech Police Officer Floyd East Jr. was killed in the line of duty on Oct. 9, 2017. (Texas Tech)

Officer Floyd East Jr., 48, then took Daniels to the Texas Tech Police Department located at 413 Flint Ave. to conduct a “standard briefing.”

Around 7:50 p.m., while East was completing booking paperwork, Daniels was seated nearby but he was not handcuffed, according to an arrest affidavit. A corporal who was also in the office said the officer was working on his computer and Daniels was facing the opposite direction.

When the corporal left the briefing room, he heard a “boom” shortly thereafter. When the corporal went back into the briefing room, the officer had a gunshot wound and the suspect was gone. According to the affidavit, a .45 caliber shell casing was located near the deceased officer and his body camera was also missing; his pistol was still in his holster.

With the suspect on the run, the school issued a lockdown for the entire campus. Around the same time, Bonath says the school’s counseling center received a call from Daniels’ family worried that he might be in possesion of weapon and was making comments about suicide.  Daniels was located about 90 minutes later near the City Bank Coliseum. A .45 caliber pistol loaded with RP ammunition as well as the deceased officer’s body camera was located near where he was arrested.

Daniels was located about 90 minutes later near the City Bank Coliseum. A .45 caliber pistol loaded with RP ammunition as well as the deceased officer’s body camera was located near where he was arrested.

Daniels stated to officers that he was the one that shot their friend, according to the affidavit. When a detective interviewed Daniels, he “immediately stated he f—– up” and said he did “something illogical.”

According to East’s records, he was a full-time peace officer at Texas Tech for five months but prior to becoming a peace officer, he worked as a telecommunications operator for two years. He completed basic peace officer course at El Paso Community College LEA in June 2016.

Gov. Greg Abbott said he spoke with the university’s chancellor and mobilized Lubbock-area Department of Public Safety troopers to help police.

“The family of the officer is in the thoughts and prayers of the Texas Tech community,” Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said. Classes will resume as scheduled Tuesday, the university said.

What we know about the alleged shooter

Daniels lived in Talkington Hall, one of the newer residence halls on the Texas Tech campus and one of the ones that allows campus-carry guns. Carrying a gun is allowed on some areas of campus for those who are 21 and older and have a license to carry or concealed handgun license. Daniels is 19 years old.

The address listed on Daniels’ drivers license is located in Seguin, Texas.

According to Guadalupe County records, he was jailed earlier this year — for speeding 10 percent above the posted limit. He was booked Aug. 6 and released the same day. He paid a $280 fine. In 2016, Texas Tech police arrested him for possession of marijuana.

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