A student who was fatally shot by University of California at Berkeley police on Tuesday after allegedly brandishing a gun appeared to be troubled, university officials said today.
Capt. Margo Bennett of the university’s police department said friends and family members of 32-year-old Christopher Nathen Elliot Travis told police that “his behavior changed the last few weeks.”
However, Bennet said there’s no information about why his behavior changed.
Bennet said a campus police officer shot Travis after he brandished a Ruger 99 mm semiautomatic handgun in a third floor computer lab at the Haas School of Business shortly before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“His actions are from someone who was troubled,” she said.
Bennet said several university police officers responded to the computer lab after a business school staff member reported seeing what appeared to be a gun in his backpack.
She said a video of the incident that investigators reviewed today confirmed officers’ statements that Travis ignored several orders to drop his gun.
One of the officers shot and struck Travis multiple times after he pointed his gun at the officer, according to Bennet.
Nine other students were in the room at the time and three were in the officer’s line of fire, she said.
Those students were quickly removed from the line of fire before the shooting, Bennet said.
Four officers, including the officer who fatally shot Travis, have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting, she said.
Travis’s gun was registered in his name in San Jose, Bennet said.
However, there’s no indication he had a concealed weapons permit, she said.
She said Travis was a trainer in standard operating procedures for security guards. But she said investigators haven’t yet been able to determine if he ever worked as a security guard.
University spokesman Dan Mogulof said Travis was in his first semester as an undergraduate at the business school after transferring from another university.
He said information about Travis’s previous college experience isn’t available at this time.
Mogulof said it appears the shooting was an isolated incident and had nothing to do with the Occupy Cal protest that was occurring in another part of the campus.
Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News
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