Lubbock, TX – Texas Tech University Police Officer Floyd East Jr., age 48, was fatally shot in the back of the head while he was booking an arrestee on Monday night, October 9.
The incident occurred about 8:30 PM at the Texas Tech Police Department, according to CBS News.
Texas Tech Police Chief Kyle Bonath said that Officer East had gone to the dorm room of Hollis Daniels III on a welfare check, after reports were received “about a student behaving erratically who was believed to be in possession of a weapon.”
He said that the room was empty when Officer East arrived, and that the officer found evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Daniels came back to the room while Officer East was there, and he was arrested and taken to the police station by the officer.
Lubbock Police Detective Thomas Bonds said that Daniels wasn’t handcuffed while Officer East completed paperwork at the station. A second officer was initally present but then left the room.
That second officer, who was not identified, heard a ‘loud bang’ after he left the room. He rushed back to the room, and found Officer East “mortally wounded.” Officer East apparently was not able to draw his weapon, which was still holstered. He had been shot in the back of his head with a .45 caliber pistol, according to ODMP.
Daniels had fled, and had apparently stolen Officer East’s body-camera. Police began searching for Daniels, and received a call from Daniels’ family during the search stating that they believed he was suicidal and might be in possession of a weapon.
After a brief foot chase from the police department, Daniels was captured near the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium when he was tackled by an unidentified Texas Tech police officer, and taken into custody.
Police found Officer East’s body-cam and a .45 caliber handgun nearby. When officers caught him, he immediately told them that he had “fucked up.”
Daniels later confessed to detectives, and said he had done something “illogical,” and that he “was the one who had shot their friend.”
Daniels, who is from Seguin, was charged with capital murder of a police officer, and is being held in the Lubbock County Jail under $5 million bond. He had been charged with drug offenses by campus police on September 23.
The Texas Tech campus was on lockdown for about an hour on Monday night, and students were told to shelter in place.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott extended his condolences to the officer’s family, and said that he had mobilized the Texas Department of Public Safety to assist as needed. He said, “As the Texas Tech campus deals with this heartbreaking tragedy, Cecilia and I pray for the continued safety of the students and the entire community”.
In a social media post, Lubbock Police Chief Greg Stevens said, “Heavy heart tonight. Thoughts and prayers with Texas Tech Police Department.”
Officer East is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Texas Tech Police Officer Floyd East, Jr., both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Officer East, your life mattered.