Liberty Business Freshman Shot Dead Following an Altercation with Campus Officer


Joshua Hathaway, a 19-year-old student at the Liberty University was shot dead Tuesday morning by the school's Emergency Services officer in Lynchburg, Va.

Hathaway of Lubbock, Texas, was fatally shot after allegedly attacking the armed on-duty campus officer with a hammer in the lobby of an off-campus all-girls residential hall.

According to a search warrant, around 4:00 a.m, Hathaway approached the security officer to complain that he had been robbed and his vehicle stolen, NY Daily News reports. When the security officer began writing the report in the lobby of Residential Annex II, he allegedly pulled out a hammer out of his clothing and assaulted the officer, for an unknown reason.

In response, the officer fired his weapon twice at Hathaway, striking him at least once.

"The student was shot and killed and the officer was transported to Lynchburg General Hospital for treatment," the university said in a statement.

"The entire campus, including Annex I & II, are open and operating as normal," according to a statement on the school's website. "This appears to be an isolated incident and there is not any ongoing concern for the safety of students or the community."

The Lynchburg Police Department later discovered Hathaway's 'stolen' vehicle in a parking lot nearby.

During the police interrogation with his roommate, Robert Googe said that Hathaway had been behaving different lately. The roommate further said that Hathaway, a business freshman on a full academic scholarship, had been experiencing both academic and financial problems.

President Jerry Falwell, Jr. said that this is the first such incident to occur on campus.

"When I heard I felt disbelief and was puzzled and saddened immediately - I'm a parent of a college student and I can't even imagine," Falwell told USA TODAY. "Our first concern is the students and the community ... letting the police do their job. We hope answers come out in the next few days."

Hathaway graduated from Southcrest Christian School in Lubbock in May with a grade-point average of 4.57.

"I loved this young man and believed in him and would do just about anything to help him," Superintendent Linda Merriott told Wave 3. "He's a great kid - was a great kid."

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