2:56 p.m. PST, December 9, 2012
SAN BERNARDINO (KTLA) — Family members of a 38-year-old graduate student fatally shot by campus police said Sunday that the man had mental issues and a history of run-ins with the law.
Bartholomew Williams, who was working on his second master’s degree in educational instructional technology, was shot around 6:30 p.m. Saturday at an on-campus dormitory on Northpark Boulevard and University Parkway.
University police were called to the University Village dorms after the report of a disturbance involving Williams. Three officers arrived at the scene and they encountered Williams in a hallway where the situation quickly escalated.
University officials say Williams became violent and physical, and that two of the officers, fearing for their safety, opened fire.
Williams was shot at least once in the torso and was declared dead at the scene.
KTLA spoke with members of Williams’ family, who said that the young man, who grew up in Oregon and also attended the University of Virginia and the University of Missouri at Kansas City had a history of mental issues.
Students who were on campus at the time said the campus sent email alerts moments after the shooting.
“The campus is really safe,” student Mathieu Gabreel said. “You can see police everywhere. This is just a rare occasion.”
“I couldn’t believe it,” student Christopher Mitchell said. “You hear things all the time but never anything to this magnitude.”
Sid Robinson, a spokesperson for the university, said the shooting, which happened just hours after Fall semester commencement ceremonies, is a “tragedy” and a “terrible way” to end the semester.
“The university really does express its sadness and sympathy to the family and friends of the student,” Robinson said.
“We are really sad and want to express our sympathy to the family and friends and all the people who know or knew the suspect.”
One officer was also injured and was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Robinson also said that San Bernardino police will handle the investigation of the shooting.