Police: Student confessed to killing Texas Tech cop
Dallas — A Texas Tech University student confessed to killing a campus police officer who had been booking him on a drug possession charge, telling detectives he had done “something illogical” and that “he was the one that shot their friend,” an investigator said.
In an affidavit released Tuesday, Det. Thomas Bonds of the Lubbock city police department said Hollis Daniels III confessed to killing Officer Floyd East Jr. after his recapture Monday night.
Campus Police Chief Kyle Bonath said at a news conference Tuesday that his department received reports of a student acting erratically who might have a weapon. University officials said East went to Daniels’ room to perform a welfare check and found evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia. East arrested Daniels and took him to the campus police station to book him.
According to Bonds, the 19-year-old wasn’t handcuffed while East was processing the paperwork. Another officer left the room and then heard a loud bang. When he returned, he found East mortally wounded and Daniels gone. East’s body camera was also missing, but his service weapon was still holstered.
Bonath said Daniels “pulled a gun” and shot East at the station, but he didn’t specify whether it was a gun Daniels had on him or one that belonged to the department. He also didn’t say whether East checked Daniels for weapons when arresting him, and he didn’t take questions.
The campus was locked down for about an hour Monday night and the school’s more than 36,000 students were ordered to shelter in place during the search.
Daniels was recaptured following a foot chase near the police station. He had the body camera and a handgun, Bonds wrote.
Bonath said that during the lockdown, the university’s counseling center told police that Daniels’ family had called to say he might be suicidal and have a gun. It wasn’t clear whether the chief meant they called the center before or after East was shot, and school officials didn’t respond to messages seeking additional details.
Daniels, who is from the San Antonio suburb of Seguin, is charged with capital murder of a peace officer and is being held in the Lubbock County jail on a $5 million bond. Online jail records don’t indicate whether he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.
He’s had prior run-ins with the law. Daniels was charged two years ago in Guadalupe County, which includes Seguin, with possession of drug paraphernalia, but the case was dismissed. The Lubbock County sheriff’s office confirmed that Daniels was arrested in Sept. 2016 on charges of marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Daniels is the son of H. A. “Dan” Daniels, a well-known figure in Seguin and a former city councilman.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.