University of California, Berkeley, police this afternoon (Wednesday, Nov. 16) released more details about the student who was shot yesterday at the Haas School of Business and later died at Oakland’s Highland Hospital.
The student, identified earlier as 32-year-old Christopher Nathen Elliot Travis, was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley majoring in business.
At an informal press briefing outside Sproul Hall at 3 p.m. today, UC Berkeley Police Capt. Margo Bennett said Travis was carrying a loaded, semiautomatic handgun – a 9 mm Ruger – when he was shot multiple times by a UC Berkeley police officer at about 2:25 p.m. Tuesday. Travis had a permit for the Ruger that had been issued in San Jose, she said.
The Alameda County coroner’s office conducted an autopsy this morning and will release a report at a later time. University police visited next of kin in Lodi, Calif., but it is unclear whether Lodi was Travis’ hometown, Bennett said.
Since the shooting, at least 20 witnesses have been interviewed, and video surveillance footage was reviewed. The video, which is part of the investigation, “corroborates everything our witnesses and the officers said,” according to Bennett.
Bennett said that university police have so far been unable to identify Travis’ motive.
Asked to review the sequence of events on Tuesday, Bennett noted that after staff members at the Haas School pointed out to university police the man they had earlier seen carrying a gun, four officers entered the school’s computer lab where Travis had gone. Nine people were in the room at the time, in addition to Travis, she said.
Upon noticing the officers, Travis pulled out his gun. The police repeatedly asked him to “put down the gun, put down the gun, put down the weapon,” Bennett said, but instead, Travis pointed his gun at the officers. One of the officers shot at Travis.
The officers immediately applied first aid to Travis until fire department paramedics arrived and took the student to the hospital, where he died, she said.
At the Haas School this morning, Dean Richard Lyons told a gathering of students, faculty and staff that the business school is “taking every precaution to make certain our security systems are as good as they can be. We will immediately be increasing security in the buildings and be reviewing how we can enhance security over the longer term.”
“The safety of our community,” he said, “is among my highest priorities.”
The investigation is continuing, led by UC Berkeley police.