Texas Tech students comforted by unity after fatal officer shooting
LUBBOCK, Texas - Students at Texas Tech University say they feel pain and shock after one of the school's police officers was fatally shot Monday night, but they're being comforted by the unity and support.
"We're a massive campus of over 40,000, yet suddenly something like this happens and we all come together like a small town community and unite," said Matthew Koehl a student from San Antonio.
Students found a place to come together and unite at Memorial Circle. At the Will Rogers statue, which is traditionally wrapped in red for home football games, the effigy was wrapped in black and blue, and throughout the day, students left flowers and paid their respects to officer Floyd East, Jr.
Biology freshman Jack Carlin of Abilene said during the terrifying moments when students where alerted about an active shooter on campus, students demonstrated how willing they were to help one another out to get out of harm's way.
"We checked on each other last night. We were all on our phones just calling each other telling each other that if you need a safe place, come here," said Carlin.
Students who live at the same residential hall as the alleged shooter, 19-year-old Hollis Daniels, are particularly shaken up after seeing officers arrive at Daniels' dorm room.
"I walked past his room and I saw the officers there. I didn't see specifically who he was talking to because I didn't want to get too involved in the situation," said a student who did not want to share his name.
"I just had to do something and bring him flowers today."
Police say they found drugs and paraphernalia inside Daniels' room and took him to the station for questioning.
"During this time the student pulled a gun and fatally shot officer East," said Chief of Police Kyle Bonath.
Later in the day, hundreds of students held a candlelight vigil at Memorial Circle for East.