An armed man who was shot dead by a police officer on Tuesday at the University of California at Berkeley’s business school was an undergraduate student, a campus spokesman said on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old student, Christopher Nathen Elliot Travis, was reported to the police on Tuesday afternoon when he was seen with a gun in an elevator at the Haas School of Business, officials said. When police officers found him moments later in a nearby computer laboratory, he pointed the gun at them and was shot by a single police officer, the police said. Mr. Travis died later at a local hospital, said the spokesman, Dan Mogulof.
The shooting, which officials said was the first on Berkeley's campus since the 1980s, does not appear to be connected to a large student protest that was being held on a different part of the campus at the same time. Mr. Travis was in his first semester taking business courses at Berkeley, Mr. Mogulof said.
Three people who were in or near the computer lab said in interviews soon after the shooting that they heard the police yelling at the suspect to drop his weapon before shooting five to 10 times. The witnesses said some students and staff members dropped to the ground upon hearing the gunshots, while others tried to run away.
A Web page apparently written by Mr. Travis to promote himself as a business consultant discussed two suicide attempts by him. The information on the page matches the name and description of Mr. Travis given by campus officials, but officials have not verified that it was written by him. The page was taken down on Wednesday.
“My name is Chris Travis. I tried to kill myself when I was 5. ... I took 219 sleeping pills one day when I was 23,” the Web site originally said. It said that the author wanted to get an internship at the United Nations and pursue a career in international business. “I want to learn more and do more to make this world better,” the Web site said.
Campus police say Christopher Travis, 32, transferred this year to the business school. He was shot in a computer lab Tuesday after pointing a weapon at officers.
UC Berkeley police guard the entrance of the Haas School of Business, where a gunman was killed by officers Tuesday. (Ben Margot, Associated Press / November 15, 2011)
By Larry Gordon November 17, 2011 Los Angeles Times
An armed man fatally shot by UC Berkeley police this week was a 32-year-old student at the university, officials said Wednesday. Investigators were looking into reports that the man, identified as Christopher Travis, had demonstrated erratic behavior in the past, including possible suicide attempts.
Travis, an undergraduate who transferred to the UC Berkeley business school this fall, died of his wounds at a hospital, officials said. He was shot by a campus police officer in the school's computer lab Tuesday afternoon after Travis pointed a loaded handgun at officers and refused orders to drop the weapon, authorities said.
Police are reviewing websites on which a man matching Travis' name and description says he was employed as a security guard who worked on "police emergency response" and discusses two suicide attempts, officials said. Police also are in touch with Travis' relatives in Lodi, Calif., and interviewing nine students who were in the lab at the time. A video camera captured at least part of the incident.
"We are looking into everything," including those websites, said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof.
Police said Travis had a permit for his weapon, a semiautomatic Ruger, that was issued in San Jose. They have not determined a motive.
Campus Police Chief Mitch Celaya told the Daily Californian student newspaper that officers have "some reports that the student was 'not normal' and we're trying to determine what that means."
Attempts to reach Travis' family for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.
An online resume identified a Christopher Travis enrolled at UC Berkeley's business school as a former security guard who had worked in "coordinating hazmat, medical, and police emergency response" and had transferred to UC from Ohlone College in Fremont, Calif.
A website for a business he reportedly ran describes Travis as a "reformed computer nerd" who had flunked out of college the first time because he skipped class to play computer games. It details a dream: "It was like I had this vision from god and when I woke up, I had discovered the secret to winning at packman. That was when I decided that I have to do something else with my life."
Tuesday's shooting occurred as a large crowd of students and others demonstrated on another part of campus in sympathy with the Occupy Wall Street movement and against tuition increases. Authorities said they have found no connection between Travis and the protests.
UC police responded to a 911 call from a staff member who had noticed Travis with a gun in his backpack. Police say they found Travis in the lab with the other students. No one else was injured.
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau met Wednesday with faculty, students and staff at the Haas School of Business.
"This is one of the most difficult times we have had as a community," he told them, according to a statement. Birgeneau also offered condolences. "Our heart goes out to the family of this young man," he said.
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We at WEJB/NSU have been exhaustively following the case of Nkosi Thandiwe, who encountered Brittney Watts on his job in Atlanta as an Allied Barton security guard and, according to an Atlanta source in a WEJB/NSU exclusive, used Allied Barton’s technology to stalk and murder Watts. Moments later, Thandiwe shot Lauren Garcia and Tiffany Ferenczy, as well.
Defendant Nkosi Thandiwe
Allied Barton security guard Nkosi Thandiwe stalked and murdered Brittney Watts, while on the clock for Allied Barton
Thandiwe shot Lauren Garcia in the back, leaving her a paraplegic
Thandiwe also shot Tiffany Ferenczy, who has reportedly recovered from her wound
WEJB/NSU’scoverage of Nkosi Thandiwe’s crimes and victims: