3 killed in shooting near Texas A&M campus
Updated On: Aug 13 2012 12:22:11 PM CDT
Three people were killed, including the suspect and a constable, and two others were wounded in a shooting Monday near the Texas A&M campus.
According to College Station police, Brazos County Precinct 1 Constable Brian Bachmann went to the home to serve an eviction notice and was shot.
Police said they then received 911 calls about the shooting. Bachmann did not radio in for help, officials said.
College Station police went to the home and found Bachmann in the front yard, investigators said. He later died at a hospital.
"He was a pillar in this community," College Station Police Department Assistant Chief Scott McCollum said. "It's sad and tragic that we lost him today."
Investigators said they do not know if Bachmann had any warning that the tenant was armed.
The shooter, identified as 35-year-old Thomas Caffall, fired shots at the officers. One, Officer Justin Oehlke, was wounded in the calf, police said. Two other officers, Brad Smith and Phil Dorsett, were hurt while responding to the scene, but they were not shot, police said.
Officers returned fire, wounding Caffall, police said. He later died at a hospital.
Two civilians were also shot. One of them, 43-year-old Chris Northcliff, was killed.
"He was just checking out some properties he managed and he was just one of the innocent bystanders who got shot," said Jeremy Vanecek, a friend of Northcliffe. "I've been crying like for the last two hours. He wasn't just my neighbor he was my good friend. I just want to say that I love him, he will always be in my heart, and will God please make it easy on his soul."
A 55-year-old woman, who sources identified as Barbara Holdsworth, was in critical condition after undergoing surgery. Friends said the Houston mother was helping her daughter move when the shooting started.
The entire exchange between Caffall and officers lasted about 30 minutes, detectives said.
"When I heard the first shots going out, I ducked down under my truck, in the floorboards, and I started counting shots," witness Will Hatheway said. "I wanted to make sure how many shots were fired because I know that detail is always required, and I wanted to help out the police."
Hatheway said he heard 30 shots that were fired from what sounded like a semiautomatic weapon.
A Code Maroon was issued at Texas A&M after the shooting. Police urged people to stay away from the area as they investigated four scenes hours after the shooting.
Hundreds of students were on or around Texas A&M's campus, getting ready for the upcoming semester.
"I was scared," one student said. "I live here by myself. I just moved to the area. I was told it was a quiet neighborhood, mostly college students. I wasn't expecting anything like this."
"We were a bit worried about it," another student said. "We got a few texts from concerned friends."
A&M United Methodist Church will hold a prayer vigil for the victims at its main sanctuary, 417 University Drive, at 7 p.m.
College Station is about 90 miles northwest of Houston.