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Tuesday
Oct102017

Texas Tech student charged with capital murder in cop's shooting death

iStock/Thinkstock(LUBBOCK, Texas) -- A Texas Tech University student has been charged with capital murder after allegedly shooting a campus police officer in the head Monday night.

Hollis Daniels, 19, was being booked into jail at TTU's police station for evading arrest after drugs and drug paraphernalia were allegedly found in his dorm room.

Two officers were originally dispatched to Daniels' campus dorm suite inside Talkington Residence Hall late Monday afternoon after his mother called the university hotline fearing her son was a danger to himself, university spokesman Chris Cook told ABC News.

"She called earlier in the day ... saying her son was having suicidal thoughts," Cook said. Daniels' roommate also said that the 19-year-old was showing "odd behavior," Cook added.

After the two responding officers allegedly found the drugs and paraphernalia, Daniels was taken to the police station for questioning. There, Daniels was left alone with an officer in a room. While they were alone, Daniels is believed to have pulled a gun out and "fatally wounded the officer with a single shot," Cook said, then fled. The officer was pronounced dead at the scene.

It's unclear whether the weapon used to kill the officer belonged to Daniels or was swiped from an officer at the station or from a squad car, University Police Chief Kyle Bonath said late Monday.

Daniels then led officers on a pursuit across campus, according to Bonath. During that time the school was on lockdown.

Daniels was eventually spotted near the school's Jones AT&T Stadium about an hour after escaping custody. Cook said multiple officers tackled Daniels and apprehended him, and he was then transported to the Lubbock Police Department, where he remained on Tuesday.

In addition to capital murder, Daniels has been charged with evading arrest, according to police.

The deceased officer has been identified as Floyd East Jr.

"At this time the family of the deceased officer will be in the prayers of the Texas Tech community," Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec told reporters Monday. "In the coming days, we'll be offering our full support to that family."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott echoed the sentiments, saying "hearts go out to the family of the police officer killed."

It's unclear whether Daniels has obtained an attorney.

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