An altercation turned deadly Tuesday when a Liberty University police officer shot and killed a male student in an all-female dorm, officials report. The officer was also injured, and while unconfirmed, The Washington Post reported the student had a sledgehammer.
The incident occurred at the off-campus Residential Annex II about 4 a.m. Liberty issued this statement: “We have received reports that a Liberty University Emergency Services Officer was attacked by a male student in the lobby of a women's-only dorm early this morning.” The officer was transported to Lynchburg General Hospital for treatment.
Liberty officials quickly decided there was no danger to the main campus, and classes have continued as scheduled today. “The entire campus, including Annex I & II, are open and operating as normal,” the statement read. One student said the university did not send out a campus-wide alert, and Liberty’s home page doesn’t consistently feature campus news.
Officials haven’t said if “attacked” meant a physical or an armed confrontation. The university does not allow men in women-only dorms, and it’s unclear if the officer was responding to the dorm or if he was on a night shift in the lobby.
The incident received immediate attention in many news outlets because Liberty allows students with concealed-carry permits to bring weapons on campus. As of April, carrying students must be approved by both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the university.
Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Va., is the largest evangelical nonprofit university in the nation. President Jerry Falwell Jr. issued the following statement: “The Liberty University community is deeply saddened by this tragic event and is prayerfully supporting all those impacted."