December 9th, 2012
04:49 AM ET

Campus cops shoot, kill graduate student at California college

Campus police at California State University San Bernardino shot and killed a graduate student following an altercation Saturday night, authorities said.

Police said officers responded to University Village, an off-campus student dormitory, regarding a disturbance involving Bartholomew Williams, 38.

Williams became aggressive and an altercation with officers followed in the hallway of the dorm, the college said in a statement. Officers then fired their weapons because they feared for their lives, police said.

Williams died at the scene.

One officer was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injury.

Williams was majoring in educational instructional technology, and started at the school in the summer of 2011, police spokesman Sid Robinson said.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • U.S.
soundoff (604 Responses)
  1. NickD

    Its a shame that a another young man has been killed by the police. Inside of student housaing why wouldn't police be carrying tasers. They are far less likely to cause death and allow police to drop a threatening suspect and detain them without lethal force.

    Its been far too easy for police to proclaim fear for their lives and kill unarmed people. This was a rare occurrance 30 years ago, and people were just as violent then as as now. Something has gone wrong when so many people simply accept death at the hands of police.

    No we don't know exactly what happened at that dormitory. We will only hear the police version now, and given the number of instances where the police have been known to cover for each others misdeeds, the cops story is no longer automatically believable. Still it was a student housaing facility so there was no reason for the cops to not be outfitted and trained with tasers or other non lethal methods of subduing teenagers and young adults.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • PDX

      Nick i will agree with you halfway. Cops should move to a taser first, and before a tazer pepper spray. And like you said we do not know the full extent of what happened in there. However, people now a days, especially between the ages of 15-25 (i know this guy was 38) show no regard for their actions. People all around our country do what they want without thinking to themselves can this get me in trouble and/or can this hurt somebody. Cops should have done tazed him yeah, but the guy shouldn't have put himself in the situation in the first place.

      December 9, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Check

      They may not have tazers- California campuses are run by the students not administration. In my experience, students FREAK THE HELL OUT when told their campus PD will be tarrying tazers.

      December 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tgyh

    Grad students dont have majors

    December 9, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Priest

    Praying for all involved.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. mary

    The police responded to a disturbance that he was part of. They didn't just pick on someone minding their own business.

    December 9, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Saboth

    So he was unarmed? They had no tazers or pepper spray?

    December 9, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • PDX

      Does somebody need to be armed to kill or cause grave bodily damage? And did they have the time to move to a gun IF the non-lethal weapon didn't work?

      December 9, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Portland tony

    Police report that the person shot was a 38 year old black male!

    December 9, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • the-guy

      And your point is that most crimes are comited by black males between 17-40. He was at his peak

      December 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    Campus police are NOT real police. In fact they are not much better than an average security guard, ones who wanted to be cops but couldnt make the grade to become police! Certification must be pretty easy in california, a fact that doesnt surprise me!

    December 9, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • sim namore

      You are 100% incorrect. All police at all state colleges and universities in every state are actual police officers. They might be second rate posers, but they are policemen with guns that go bang.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Spencer Shaw

      Ok yeah, and college professors are nothing more than fancy talkers. Campus Police are state certified, and could transfer to city/county/state department they wanted.

      December 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary Kaye Waterson

      They ARE real police, they have to go to the police academy and pass right along with every other cop in the state.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    And if both campus cops had guns and this man was unarmed they shouldve used a taser to subdue him, not shoot to kill. Apparantly being a campus cop doesnt require common sense either!

    December 9, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Check

      Apparently commenting on CNN gives you the clairvoyance to know whether or not they had Tazers in the first place. Not all cops do.

      December 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JD

    38 years old? Seriously? This is not a grad student. This is a 38 year old man on the 30 year graduation plan. By 75 he should have his masters. He's in off campus dorm housing? He's closer in age to a retirement village. There's some facts that have not come out yet.

    December 9, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      What an incredibly stupid thing to say. You do realize that it is not unusual for adults to go back to school to get the education needed for a new career? Well obviously you don't.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      Ben, it's not unusual for a 38-year-old to go back to school for a graduate degree. It is very strange for him to be in a college dorm. Even one that's off campus.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Sagar Nepali

      Seriously? You look to be a 16 years old with no idea of what he is talking. I was 35 when I came to US, along with my wife and kids, to study undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering. I had worked more than 15 yrs in the same area prior to coming to US but did not have a formal degree. I graduated with honors at my 38 (it took me 3 years). I worked for 2 years and went back to do Masters' in Electrical Engineering at the age of 40. I completed my Master's at 42. Now I am 48, working as an experienced Engineer earning 6 figure sum. Settled with my family.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • RG

      To JD & BG... it amazes me how ignorant some people can be in 2012. People could 'presume' you both are ignorant & disrespectful from your comments today. Wake up. Some adults do go back to school for additional higher education. I did after spending 15 years in network news broadcasting. (yes BG, that's BROADCAST JOURNALISM to you and it helped me raise 2 boys and little girl). I was 33 at the time and wiser for it. I applaud anyone who takes steps to further their education. And I don't assume his actions were right or wrong by the way. I'm a conservative so I tend to assume that yes, he may have done something that put those officers at risk. Having said that, a human being lost his life and all you two sad people can do is attack his character. Did you even know the man? Did you know the campus officers who fired on him? They now have to live knowing they just ended a person's life. How about you two go back to college & take a course in empathy and sympathy. Sounds like you two are the 'big kids' on this comment board.

      December 9, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Louise

      Who cares about how old he was? I'm turning 36 in two weeks and finally had the opportunity to begin work on my first bachelor's degree two years ago. No student loans to bog me down, using education benefits provided by the government for military spouses. I worked hard up until I was able to go back to school. I aim to grad school and probably won't get my doctorate until I'm 50. Not everyone can go to school when they're young. At least this guy was (apparently) trying to better his life.

      December 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    Without police FORCE, Americans wouldn't be so nice to each other.

    December 9, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. JC Copeland

    This event was a very simplle law of physics: Action = reaction. Journalists have a durty to report news. If you see a slant on this article, it falls in the reporter's lap. Try simlifying the event. 1) Law enforcement officers respond to call for help, 2) Student causing call threatens responding officers, 3)Officers summarily remove student thereby removing threat. This is not a trend, it has been happening ever since I was hosed down by the San Francisco City Police Department for protesting the House on Un-American activities "panel" over 50 years ago. Luckily they used high pressure water hoses. If they had used standard issue 38 caliber on 45 frame loaded with "dum-dum bullets, I would not have been able to post this comment. Action =reaction

    December 9, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. ron j.

    bottm line, there is no bottom line ppl with guns and do what they want as a nation we have droped the ball and america is headed for a great fall!!!!

    December 9, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. Marc

    Why did the police fear for their lives? If he was armed you'd think the story would mention that.

    December 9, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. George

    The police are much too quick to take a life. In my county in the last six months, one young man was shot dead by a policeman because he fled the scene after being pulled over for tailgating. Another was shot dead because he tried to flee after an officer had thrown him to the ground, his offense, shouting at passing cars.

    December 9, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sagar Nepali

    I saw some comments making fun of his age and it bothered me. It is a shame some people think age is a limit. I was 35 when I came to US, along with my wife and kids, to study undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering. I had worked more than 15 yrs in the same area prior to coming to US but did not have a formal degree. I graduated with honors at my 38 (it took me 3 years). I worked for 2 years and went back to do Masters' in Electrical Engineering at the age of 40. I completed my Master's at 42. Now I am 48, working as an experienced Engineer earning 6 figure sum. Settled with my family.

    December 9, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21