Liberty University student attacked officer with hammer before he was fatally shot

Posted at 7:24 AM, Nov 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-19 18:49:01-05

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WTVR) - Liberty University student Joshua Hathaway, 19, of Lubbock, Texas, was shot and killed by a campus police officer. Hathaway was shot during a fight with the university officer at  4:07 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, Lynchburg police said.

Hathaway was shot and killed at an off-campus residential facility Tuesday morning after he attacked an armed security officer with a hammer, according to a search warrant obtained by affiliates WDBJ.

The search warrant states that Hathaway approached the security officer and said he had been robbed and someone stole his vehicle. The officer began investigating Hathaway’s complaint, when Hathaway suddenly pulled out a hammer from his clothing and assaulted the officer, the warrant states.

A struggle ensued. Next the officer fired twice at Hathaway, according to the warrant. Hathaway was hit by at least one bullet.

"There was an altercation between a Liberty University Emergency Services Officer and a male student that led to a shooting last night at a women’s-only residential hall (Residential Annex II) that is under investigation by the Lynchburg Police Department," the university released in a statement.

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

"The Liberty University Emergency Services Officer involved in this incident was treated by, and released from, the Lynchburg General Hospital Emergency Department," the Lynchburg Police Department said.

Hathaway’s roommate told police that Hathaway had been acting unusual recently, according to the search warrant. The roommate also said that Hathaway had been experiencing some academic and financial difficulties.

As a student, Hathaway seemingly excelled, according to reporting by WDBJ. He had a 4.5 grade-point average in high school, and attended Liberty University on a full scholarship to study business.

Liberty University is the largest Christian university in the world, according to the school's website. It was founded the late Jerry Falwell Sr. in 1971.

Check back with and watch CBS 6 News for updates. CNN contributed to this report.