Liberty University shooting resulted in the death of a male student early Tuesday morning. Officials with the Lynchburg, Virginia school say a security officer was attacked before he was shot and killed in the lobby of a female-only dorm. An investigation into the incident hopes to uncover the motive behind the attack, which remains a mystery.
According to The Roanoke Times, the suspect has been identified as Joshua Hathaway, a 19-year-old from Lubbock, Texas. He was a current student at Liberty University, officials say. Police say there is no continuing security threat, calling the Liberty University shooting an isolated incident. The circumstances surrounding the “physical altercation” between Hathaway and university security officer, however, has left authorities puzzled.
According to authorities, at around 4:15 am Joshua Hathaway approached a LU security officer, claiming that he had been robbed by someone who also took his vehicle. When the security officer began to investigate, Hathaway allegedly pulled out a hammer hidden in his clothes. He then attempted to attack the officer while wielding the hammer. During the physical confrontation Hathaway was shot dead. It is unknown if the security officer was injured but he has been taken to a nearby hospital.
According to police, two shots were fired at Hathaway by the officer, with at least one bullet striking him fatally. Huffington Post reports, however, that one student in the area during the Liberty University shooting incident, Shaquille Cook, a junior, heard “about six or seven gunshots. Ten minutes after that, I heard a lot of sirens.”
The Lynchburg Police Department is now investigating the incident. In a public statement, Detective Collin Byrne says he spoke to Hathaway’s roommate. The roommate reported to Byrne that the suspect had displayed unusual behavior recently. President Jerry Falwell, Jr. issued a statement saying he and the school community were “deeply saddened” by the Liberty University shooting incident.