Liberty University Student Killed by Campus Police Officer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Liberty University student assaulted a security officer with a hammer before the officer fatally shot him at an off-campus women's dormitory, a police detective said.

    Police say 19-year-old Joshua Hathaway of Lubbock, Texas, was shot early Tuesday.

    The News & Advance reports search warrants filed by Lynchburg Detective Collin Byrne in Lynchburg Circuit Court after the shooting indicate Hathaway told the security officer he had been robbed and his car had been stolen.

    As the security officer began investigating, Hathaway pulled out a hammer and began assaulting the officer in the dormitory's lobby before being shot, according to an affidavit.

    The officer, who wasn't identified, was treated at a hospital and released. Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said the officer has been suspended with pay pending the completion of the investigation.

    The affidavit said Hathaway lived in a campus residential building across the street. His car was found in a nearby parking lot.

    Falwell said Hathaway was an excellent student and had no record of discipline problems at the school. But Byrne said Hathaway's roommate indicated Hathaway recently started showing unusual behavior and indicated he was "having some academic and financial difficulties.'' The affidavit wasn't more specific.

    Falwell said the school didn't send out a mass alert about the shooting because it appeared to be an isolated incident and didn't seem to present a danger to the general student body.

    "We have taken every action that we believe could be taken at this point, and we're standing by waiting on more facts from police,'' Falwell said. "Our focus will continue to be on the safety and emotional health and well-being of our students and our community.''

    Counselors were made available at Liberty's convocation on Wednesday where Falwell addressed students.

    Liberty was founded in 1971 by the late Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell Sr. It has more than 12,600 students on campus and more than 90,000 online students.