Two search warrants related to the Tuesday morning shooting death of a Liberty University student at an off-campus residential facility have been returned.
19-year-old Joshua Hathaway was shot and killed by an armed security officer early Tuesday. One of the search warrants was for Hathaway’s 2004 Pontiac. The other was for the women’s-only dorm at 3125 Albert Lankford Drive where the shooting happened.
Inside Hathaway’s vehicle officers found a document with directions, two cell phones, $300 in cash, and two flash drives. At this time the Lynchburg Police Department will not say where the directions found inside the car were to.
Investigators recovered a hammer inside the dorm where the shooting took place. After reporting his car as stolen Hathaway attacked the officer with a hammer, according to police. Detectives also took glasses, a bullet from a 40 millimeter Smith and Wesson, and two shell casings from inside the dorm.
Red substances on the front desk, on the carpet near Hathaway, and on a chair were also taken. The search warrant also mentions scissors under Hathaway and miscellaneous bandages on the floor.
Liberty University leaders addressed the loss of a student on Wednesday morning.
The school's president shared his grief over the shooting death of Joshua Hathaway and encouraged students to pray for the officer involved in the incident.
Liberty University chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. encouraged students to seek help if they're going through a difficult situation. At a convocation service Wednesday morning, Falwell Jr. told students how his own family was impacted by a similar incident.
He talked about a situation in 1931, when his grandfather, a Lynchburg businessman, had to shoot his younger brother in self-defense.
Without mentioning the name of the officer involved in Tuesday’s shooting, Falwell told students to pray for that person and Hathaway's family.
A police search warrant shows Hathaway was going through personal difficulties recently, which may have led to Tuesday’s shooting.
"I know how stressful college life can be,” Falwell said. “I know at your age, every problem seems to be magnified. You haven't been through these types of problems before, but I urge you to get help. Don't wait until it boils over."
During Wednesday morning's service, Falwell stepped out to take a phone call from Hathaway's mother in Texas.
"I told her that our whole community is just heartsick about what happened to her son and just can't imagine what was going through his mind or what he was trying to deal with," Falwell, Jr. told WDBJ7.
The Liberty University student who was shot and killed at an off-campus residential facility Tuesday morning attacked an armed security officer with a hammer, according to a search warrant.
The Liberty University student has been identified as 19-year-old Joshua Hathaway. He was from Lubbock, Texas.
The Liberty University Emergency Services Officer involved in the shooting was treated and released at Lynchburg General Hospital.
The altercation between Hathaway and the officer took place around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday in the lobby of Residential Annex II, which is an off-campus female-only residence hall.
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. said the Emergency Services Officer is an armed security officer. The officer is also an EMT.
According to a search warrant, Hathaway approached the Liberty University security officer at Residential Annex Hall II, which is located at 3125 Albert Lankford Drive.
The search warrant states that Hathaway told the security officer that 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.
At some point Hathaway broke away from the officer, and the officer fired twice at Hathaway, according to the warrant. Hathaway was hit by at least one bullet. The security officer has been suspended, pending a police investigation.
"We are deeply saddened by what happened, and it has impacted our community in ways that we are just now beginning to understand," Falwell Jr. said during a news conference.
Officers later found Hathaway's white Pontiac in the dorm and towed it away.
Hathaway’s roommate told police that Hathaway had been acting unusual recently. The roommate also said that Hathaway had been experiencing some academic and financial difficulties.
Hathaway attended Southcrest Christian School in Lubbock, according to Superintendent Linda Merriott, who was Hathaway's former high school principal. Hathaway was an athlete and a distinguished member of the marching band. According to Merriott, he was involved in school groups like the National Honor Society. Merriott says the school is completely shocked and devastated by the situation.
"We could not believe. Kept thinking someone had made a mistake. The news is not at all what we know about this young man. My memories of him are him laughing, and enjoying life with his friends and just being an all around great kid," Merriott said.