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Was He Frisked? Questions Over How Texas Tech Police Handled Shooting Suspect

The incident is raising procedural questions about how campus police interact with students.

A Texas Tech student is facing capital murder charges for Monday night’s shooting death of a campus police officer. Nineteen-year-old Tech freshman Hollis Daniels confessed to shooting 48-year-old officer Floyd East, Jr. in the head while he was at the Texas Tech University Police Department.

John Curnutt, the director of training at Texas State’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training program, also know as ALERRT, says information has not become public yet about how the suspect obtained the firearm.

“We’re all left to speculation because we don’t have the information that the Texas Tech police department has at this time,” he says. “In time, we’ll find out more.”

The incident raises questions about how police should frisk or pat down students who are brought in for observation.

“It’s entirely possible that a frisk or a pat down was not done, or it was done haphazardly. That happens as a result of people getting too complacent because they do it a thousand times and nothing’s ever happened, nothing’s ever found,” Curnutt says.

Frisking students can be a controversial procedure.

“If there’s a lot of complaints about certain things, and we don’t think that it’s necessary because no one’s ever had a gun on them and no one’s ever done anything to us, then there’s this tendency to kind of let your guard down or just kind of let things slide so that we don’t offend anybody,” Curnutt says. “But in this case, it demonstrated why a proper pat down or frisk needs to be done.”

Curnett says it’s too early in the investigation to have a conversation about policies.

“I would think that we would all want to have all the facts before we start forming too strong of opinions,” he says.

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