A student at Texas Tech University reportedly shot and killed a campus police officer earlier this week after evidence of drug activity was discovered in his dorm room.
According to a report from Newsweek, campus police were called out Monday night to conduct a “welfare check” on 19-year-old Hollis Daniels. It seems Daniels’ mother wanted police to look in on her son after a number of his classmates reported that he had been displaying “odd behavior” and that he was possibly suicidal.
But when officers arrived on the scene, they did not find a student in distress—what they found was an empty room containing some illegal contraband. University spokesman Chris Cooke confirmed with the news source that police made the decision to enter Daniels’ room, where they discovered “drug paraphernalia,” despite the fact that he was not present.
Although the report does not specify whether illicit substances were also found in Daniel’s quarters, the discovery of paraphernalia prompted officers to drag the teen down to the station for further questioning. That’s when the incident got a bit more explosive.
University Police Chief Kyle Bonath told reporters that while an officer was processing Daniels on charges pertaining to the evidence found in his room—taking him through all of the necessary steps before throwing him in jail—Daniels whipped out a gun and “shot an officer in the head,” according to the statement provided by campus police.
In an attempt to destroy any video evidence of the murder, Daniels then ripped the body camera off of the officer’s uniform before bolting outside in hopes of making a darning escape.
Evidentially, Daniels was able to avoid contact with any of the other officers stationed at the facility, allowing him to break out seemingly undetected.
After the body of the deceased officer was discovered, the entire campus was put on lockdown, which happened around 8 p.m. on Monday. Daniels was apprehended nearly an hour later, reported Texas Public Radio.
On Tuesday, Daniels was charged with capital murder. He is currently being held at the Lubbock County Sheriff Department.
It is not yet known how Daniels managed to sneak a loaded weapon past the metal detector at campus police headquarters or why officers did not conduct a thorough search of the suspect before taking him into custody in the first place.
All that is known right now is that Texas state law gives students under the age of 21 the freedom to carry a concealed firearm into classrooms, dormitories and various other campus locations. It’s just unclear as to what kind of shoddy police work allowed Daniels to maintain possession of a pistol while being questioned and charged for a crime.
Reports indicate that this was not the first time that campus police harassed Daniels over drugs. An article in Newsweek suggests that Daniels was busted earlier this year after an officer caught him in possession of a small amount of marijuana and paraphernalia.
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