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Police had run in with Texas Tech shooting suspect day before the shooting

Hollis Daniels 1.PNG
Hollis Daniels, 19, faces a charge of Capital Murder, as well as a federal charge for Possession of a Stolen Firearm, following the fatal shooting of TTUPD Officer Floyd East Jr. (Photo: Lubbock County Jail)

The Lubbock Police Department stated in a press conference held Thursday morning, 19-year-old Hollis Daniels had a run in with LPD officers the day before the fatal shooting of a Texas Tech University Police officer.

LPD said the gun was not reported stolen until several hours later, around midnight to 1 a.m. on Monday. While officers were en route to the call for the stolen firearm, they saw a vehicle matching the description of Hollis Daniels' vehicle, and pulled it over.

According to LPD, officers interviewed the suspect and requested consent to search his vehicle, but Daniels refused. Officers decided there was not enough probable cause to go through with searching the vehicle or getting a warrant for the vehicle. Officers also thought there may be drugs in the vehicle but when they looked into whether or not a drug dog was available and there was not one available, LPD said.

Ultimately, LPD said it would have been unconstitutional for officers to search the vehicle, as there was no "arrestable" charge and nothing to hold the suspect on at that time.

Later on Monday, LPD said there were "some other reports made through the Texas Tech Police Department," which included a report from Daniels' family. When TTUPD responded to the student welfare check call Monday night and Daniels was arrested by Officer Floyd East Jr., as well as other officers.

Daniels was taken to the Department, where he was being processed to be booked into jail on a charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. During that time, LPD said, East was shot and killed.

According to LPD, Daniels was searched during his time in custody, however, "unfortunately he was able to gain access to a weapon." Although LPD Police Chief Greg Stevens did not want to comment on TTUPD's policy, he did say there are times when a suspect is in custody that they may be unhandcuffed for a variety of reasons. "Perhaps to sign a document; to go to the bathroom; to make a phone call, things like that," Stevens said.

LPD said they received the call of shots fired within two minutes of the incident occurring, at 7:46 p.m. Units responded and LPD officers were on the campus by 7:49 p.m.

"What I saw when I got the campus was an effort to ensure that the students and the faculty of Texas Tech University were safe," Stevens said during the Thursday morning press conference.

Stevens confirmed that after the shooting, Daniels did try to make it back to his dorm room but was not able to get in. He also tried to get to his vehicle, but due to law enforcement officers surrounding the area, he was not able to get to his vehicle either.

Daniels were first sighted at 9:08 p.m. and was taken into custody by a TTU police officer at 9:26 p.m.

The LPD, Texas Rangers and Texas Department of Public Safety's Laboratory Services then began investigating the homicide of East. Members of the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, as well as the local FBI office, are helping in the investigation, which is ongoing as of Thursday morning.

At this time, Daniels is charged with Capital Murder. He now also faces a federal weapons charge for Possession of a Stolen Firearm.

A memorial fund has been set up for the family of East. He leaves behind a wife and two children.