LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - On October 9, 2017 at 1:11 a.m., Lubbock police officers responded to a home regarding a disturbance surrounding the theft of a firearm.
The victim in the case told police, as did witnesses, the suspect who stole his gun threatened to kill him.
Minutes later, at 1:18 a.m., officers spotted a vehicle matching the suspect’s vehicle description.
Officers reported searching the driver, Hollis Daniels, and not finding a weapon.
Officers said they asked Daniels if he had a weapon in his car, and he said he did not, but did not allow them to search his vehicle.
“There was not enough probable cause to search it on its own, nor to get a warrant for the vehicle. They thought there might be perhaps even drugs in the vehicle. They looked into a whether or not a drug dog was available to sniff the vehicle; there was not one available. They looked at a few avenues. Ultimately, it would have been unconstitutional for the officers to search the vehicle,” Lubbock Police Chief Greg Stevens said.
Officers released Daniels, but that was not the end of his interaction with police that day.
Hours after that traffic stop, someone reported hearing a gunshot coming from Daniel’s dorm room at Talkington Hall.
“The Texas Tech Police Department received information about a student acting erratically who was reported to be in possession of a weapon. Officers responded to the dorm to conduct a welfare check and during the welfare check, noticed drug paraphernalia present in the dorm. 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 the police department. During this time, the student pulled a gun and fatally shot Officer East. The student fled the scene and the university was placed in lock down status,” said Texas Tech University Police Chief Kyle Bonath.
At 7:46 p.m., two minutes after the shooting, dispatchers at the Texas Tech University Police Department reported notifying the Lubbock Police Department.
“Just as we would do with one of our own officers, or any other homicide, we did a homicide call out. Lubbock police detectives responded, began to process that scene aided by members of the Texas Rangers, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s laboratory services, also with members of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s office,” Stevens said.
At 8:23 p.m., Tech sent out an emergency notification that a shooting had been reported at the Texas Tech Police Department and the shooter was still at large. It went on to say the campus was still on lock down and to take shelter in a safe location.
“During this time frame, the TTU counseling center advised the Texas Tech Police Department the student’s family had called to express concerns that the student may be in possession of a weapon and making comments about suicide,” Bonath said.
At 9:08 p.m., someone sighted Daniels on campus, and at 9:26 p.m. a Texas Tech police officer took Daniels into custody.
Daniels is now charged with capital murder of a peace officer and he is facing a federal charge of possession of a stolen firearm.
“We keep the focus on the fact, Officer East was a fine man doing very honorable work, which he died doing,” Stevens said.