Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

November 22, 2013

Search of slain Va. student’s room yields bullets

LYNCHBURG, Va. —  Investigators have found bullets and a cartridge case in the dorm room of a Liberty University freshman who was fatally shot by a university security officer who said he attacked him with a hammer.

The News & Advance reports that the items were among other possessions investigators with a search warrant seized from the dorm room of 19-year-old Joshua Hathaway of Lubbock, Texas. An affidavit filed in Lynchburg Circuit Court on Thursday also listed a “shot shell” and a computer hard drive, among other items.

Hathaway told the security officer Tuesday he had been robbed and his car had been stolen. As the security officer began investigating, Hathaway pulled out a hammer and began assaulting the officer in the dormitory’s lobby before being shot, according to a separate court affidavit.

The officer, who wasn’t identified, was treated at a hospital and released. Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said the officer has been suspended with pay pending the completion of the investigation.

Besides the items seized from Hathaway’s dorm, detectives also seized from two campus locations a hammer, eye glasses, a cell phone, bullet, casings, bandages, red-stained scissors found under Hathaway’s body and multiple swabs of a “red substance.”

Though officers recovered bullets and a shell from Hathaway’s dorm room, no guns have been listed in the three search warrant inventories filed.

Liberty, a Christian university founded by Falwell’s father, permits some students to carry firearms “on University property and all University facilities except residence halls,” according to the school’s weapons policy.

School spokesman Johnnie Moore said the prohibition on guns in residential areas extends to ammunition as well.

Hathaway would not be permitted to carry a firearm on school grounds because he was under 21, the minimum age to apply for a permit to carry on campus, Moore said.

 

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