Report says security officer who killed Lubbock native acted in self defense

Published: Feb. 28, 2014 at 2:09 AM CST
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The report says Hathaway attacked the officer with a mallet
The report says Hathaway attacked the officer with a mallet

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A report released by the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney in Lynchburg, Virginia says the security officer who shot and killed Lubbock native Joshua Hathaway will not face charges.

The report says, "For the reasons stated in this report, I find that Officer Mulberry acted in self-defense when he shot Joshua Hathaway. No criminal charges will be brought against the Officer Mulberry."

Hathaway was attending Liberty University in Lynchburg after a distinguished high school career at South Crest Christian. He was shot and killed by Officer Mulberry in November of 2013.

According to the report, Hathaway walked in to a residence hall early on the morning of Nov. 19. Mulberry was sitting behind a desk and noticed Hathaway bleeding from his head. The report says Hathaway asked if Mulberry was a cop.

After the officer identified himself, Hathaway told him in a "shaky voice" that he was mugged in the parking lot and his car was stolen.

Mulberry asked Hathaway to sit down and started walking outside to get a first aid kit.

Hathaway followed him towards the door. The report says Mulberry asked Hathaway to sit down many more times until finally Hathaway said, "Sir, I have a problem."

The report says Hathaway was about a step away from Mulberry and charged at him with a mallet. They struggled on the floor as Mulberry tried to protect himself and Hathaway clawed at his neck.

When Mulberry was finally able to get free, the report says that he reached for his gun as Hathaway charged again. He fired three times, two shots hitting Hathaway, eventually killing him.

The report also quotes those who knew Hathaway personally.

"Various witnesses labeled Hathaway as helpful, private, genuine, quiet and different," the report reads. "No one was aware of any alcohol or substance abuse issues. No one was aware of any problems that Hathaway had with any specific individuals."

In the report, several people mentioned that Hathaway felt financial pressure.

"He was apparently receiving scholarship money and help from his parents, but was worried about paying for room and board for the upcoming semester and repair work for his car. He also needed to maintain a good grade point average to keep his scholarships. He would sell blood plasma, sometimes twice a week, to make money. This was confirmed through records at a plasma center on Fort Avenue showing visits by Hathaway on eleven (11) days between October 12 and November 18. One person noted that Hathaway never had money and would often ask for it," it stated.

Two people said he had trouble sleeping at night. One of those said he would sleep during the day and stay up all night.

"Several people observed that he would frequently have cuts or injuries to his face; at least one person suggested these might be self-inflicted. Multiple people commented about Hathaway having issues with depression, both past and current, and noted that he was under significant stress. One person noted Hathaway may have had anger issues."

The last people to see him on or around Nov. 18 said they didn't notice any significant changes in his behavior or demeanor.

"A routine toxicology screen of Hathaway's blood was clean. His blood was tested for the presence of alcohol and 12 other fairly common substances and drugs of abuse such as marijuana, cocaine, opiates, PCP, etc. None were detected."

The final conclusion was that the officer acted in self-defense.

Joshua Hathaway's family released this statement Thursday night:

"Nothing will ever replace the loss of our son, Joshua. The police report and the news release fail completely in describing who Josh really was. He was a beautiful young man inside and out. He was an incredible son, a leader at his school, and loved by all. Josh had a very gentle spirit, and reflected the love of his Lord and Savior in all he did. There is more to this than what had been reported. The acts described in the report were completely foreign to our son, and not the person he truly was."

RELATED STORY: Former Lubbock student killed by campus officer at Liberty University

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