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Slain Cal State San Bernardino student had earlier encounters with cops

December 10, 2012 |  8:00 am
A Cal State San Bernardino student killed in a struggle with campus police had been involved in encounters with authorities earlier in the day, officials said.

San Bernardino police Lt. Paul Williams said that based on "information from the family," it is believed the graduate student had chronic mental problems "and was probably off his medications," according to the San Bernardino Sun.

Before the fatal incident Saturday, the student, Bartholomew Williams, had two encounters with campus police earlier in the day, exhibiting erratic behavior both times, San Bernardino Police Chief Robert Handy said.

Officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave as per the policy of the campus police department, he said.
The shooting occurred when three Cal State San Bernardino police officers struggled with the unarmed student for about seven minutes at an off-campus housing complex before growing fearful for their own safety and fatally shooting him, authorities said.

The 38-year-old graduate student exhibited "superhuman-type strength" during the tussle, using the officers' pepper spray against them and grabbing one of their batons, said a spokesman for the San Bernardino Police Department, which is investigating the shooting.

Two of the officers fired at Williams after he wrestled the third officer to the ground and began kicking him in the head and torso, Paul Williams said. None of the officers was carrying a Taser. "This became a prolonged, violent struggle," he said.

After the incident, one of the officers was hospitalized and treated for minor injuries, he said. The shooting occurred about 6:30 p.m. at University Village, a student housing complex on Northpark Boulevard where Bartholomew Williams lived.

Authorities said the officers were responding to a report from a dorm staff member regarding Williams' alleged irrational behavior. Upon making contact with Williams in the hallway, they said, the officers determined that he was a threat to himself and others and tried to arrest him but were unable to handcuff him.

School officials said Williams was pursuing a master's degree in educational instructional technology, and that he had first enrolled in summer 2011.

"This is a tragic day for the Cal State San Bernardino community," university President Tomás Morales said in a statement. "Words cannot express how truly saddened we are at this time. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew him."

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