Lynchburg police are investigating a shooting incident that resulted in the death of a Liberty University student early Tuesday morning.
The student, who was identified as 19-year-old Joshua Hathaway of Lubbock, Texas, was shot after a “physical altercation” with Liberty University Emergency Services officers, WSLS 10 News reports.
At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, officials confirmed that 19-year-old Liberty University student Joshua Hathaway approached a campus security officer near the all-female Residential Annex II on Lankford Drive at 4:07 a.m.
Hathaway told the officer that his car had been stolen and that he had been robbed. After the officer started to investigate, Hathaway began attacking the officer with a hammer. The officer fought back, and in the ensuing struggle, fired two shots. At least one struck and killed Hathaway.
WSLS reported that the unnamed officer was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital’s emergency room, treated and released.
Police are now searching Hathaway’s property for swipe and access cards. Hathaway’s roommates told WSLS 10 News that he had been acting strange lately, possibly due to his recent academic and financial problems. Lynchburg police are continuing to investigate the incident.
Liberty University released a statement at 10:48 a.m. confirming the shooting.
“Liberty University confirms initial reports that there was an altercation between a Liberty University Emergency Services Officer and a male student that led to a shooting last night at a women’s-only residential hall (Residential Annex II) that is under investigation by the Lynchburg Police Department,” the statement reads. “The entire campus, including Annex I & II, are open and operating as normal. Liberty University’s thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy.”
Liberty University said that this was an “isolated incident and there is not any ongoing concern for the safety of students or the community.”