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.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
soundoff (604 Responses)
  1. Austin

    God, it's not always the cops' faults! The news article says that Williams became aggressive, and the cops shot out of fear. What's the point of giving police firearms if they aren't allowed to use them in an emergency situation??

    December 10, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary Kaye Waterson

      As a former police officer, I can tell you that cops are trained to use their weapons as a last resort. The article doesn't state if this man was armed with anything so there is no way to know why the officers were in "fear for their lives." However, the other posters are correct in that police officers have been following a shoot first, ask questions later (and make up a story to fit) scenario all over the country in the last 5 years (and probably longer). When I was a police officer, 30 years ago, I never used my gun, I never used my baton; I used my head and if things got out of control I physically restrained the person with my body. We didn't have tasers or pepper spray, either. We were supposed to use good judgement and talk to people.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • OvernOut

      For Mary Kaye–good for you for having used your smarts to defuse a situation. I had to tell my own college kid to avoid all campus protests or political gatherings because of the use of tasers. My kid has epilepsy, and a taser would kill her outright. Sometimes she has the kind of seizures where she just stands there are stares for several minutes. A cop could yell and shout orders and she would be completely unable to respond to a command. I've heard of other persons who were tasered for the same thing. I used to work with conservation officers, I have great respect for them, as every person they encounter is almost certainly armed.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. bobby

    Many things that police do today are tied to revenue as they call it. The revenue is for their retirement funds. Sometimes they feel someone is a threat to their retirement or future retirement, and they "retire" that individual. They say that "some people need to be killed."

    December 10, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. Don't taze me bro

    CAMPUS POLICE! real Cop flunkies.....mall cop super heroes!!!

    December 10, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. John

    38 years old and still a student??

    December 10, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • GenericMan

      He was a graduate student and what's your point, old timer?

      December 10, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • OvernOut

      A relative-in-law got her bachelor's degree at age 72, and she did the semester abroad in Florence, Italy, too. She was fulfilling a life-long dream, after her kids were grown and her husband had passed. That was 10 years ago, she's still going strong. Are you "John" or "Debbie Downer"?

      December 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. forusall

    In the last fifty years in the USA the police have only had a handful of occasions that there use of force "side arm, rifle, or shot gun" is justified only one I remember is the Hollywood bank robbery and at that they should have never engaged suspects in the first place

    December 10, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • J Davis

      Really ...... in the last 50 years?? You are are a fountain of knowledge!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. driranek

    What were the results of the cop's most recent psych tests? Oh, you gave 'em a gun and a badge without even the rudimentary psych tests the military has been using for 60 years? Sounds like "aiding and abetting" to me...

    December 10, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Teddyg

    Unfortunately, cops receive little training on how to de-escalate a confrontation. Most only know how to counter aggression with more of the same.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. relians

    well, if they didn't shoot him, he would have shot himself in the head while in the back of the patrol car, handcuffed.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. tony

    There was a big, bullet-vested, full-armored San Jose police shot to death an 80-lbs 5-ft woman with a vegetable peeler in her hand because he was afraid for his life. After she was downed, this police prevented her husband from tendering her because he was afraid she suddenly stood up with her peeler again.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • w

      That was a really sad incedient from 8 years ago in an entirely different city. It has nothing to do with what happened at Cal State, you are just using it to try and evoke emotion from from irrational people. Oh and the victims family won a $1.825 million dollar law suit.

      December 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • sadtosay

      w, he gave an anecdote. I could give another about police fatally shooting a wheel chair bound mental patient who was wielding a pen. Oh and as far as that woman with the vegetable peeler being shot, who gives a F how much money they got? It won't bring back their loved one.

      December 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Prevention of this sort of thing is so simple....DON'T FIGHT WITH POLICE (or campus cops, in this situation)!! Jesus Christ, people!

      December 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Portland tony

    Sad story ...3 yes three cops try to overpower a large black man who according to this family may have failed to take his psychotropic medication the day of his killing. He apparently overpowered the three police officers and seized their pepper spray and baton...So they killed him!

    December 10, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. decides for myself

    Tennessee v. Garner and Graham v. Connor. Do some research folks. There is a lot of incorrect language being thrown around. If you want to make an educated argument, research where law enforcement gets their authority and by whom it is granted. Read the case law and you will see why, when, and where the use of deadly force is justified. These two cases are not all encompassing and should be used as the absolute basis for any further reading as they are the gold standard by which the "reasonableness" of a law enforcement officer's actions are judged.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • cdgfla

      Got any Westlaw or Lex citations for us to check?

      December 10, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. James

    This is horrible, sensationalist reporting. Where the hell are the facts?? This story is written in a way to just make people upset without any clue as to what really happened. You can't tell if it was justified, police cruelty or what, the reporter might as well have just stopped at the first sentence for all the good this crappy article is.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • geoz


      December 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil Spectre

      There was an "altercation". What else do you need??

      December 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ThaGerm

      The police will not release details while it is still under investigation. Did you want the reporter to just start making things up?

      December 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • denman838

      You're just NOW keying in to the horrible, deplorable state of the media in this country? Of COURSE the article is garbage! the FACTS might have stood in the way of a good story!

      December 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • justanotherchildofgod

      Why did they fear for their life? Was he armed?

      December 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • sadtosay

      What are you talking about? The article gives the details that are available.

      December 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tptlead

      You can assume the police created the altercation which led to them "fearing for their lives."

      December 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jim

    Gun -vs- Vegtable kidding! Whoa dump choice in weapons.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rad666

    Willaims was armed with what when he threatened multiple armed officers?

    December 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. NotaCnnFan

    So to the police, taking a butt kicking is the same as fear for your life. Why does college dorm police have guns? The public should be armed to prevent having fear for their lives.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • denman838

      And if this guy had gone on a rampage and killed six other residents of the dorm, you'd be the first one screaming "Where were the cops?" Wait for the facts, that is, if they ever emerge. this story is so lacking in them, it probably should not have been filed in the first place, or posted only as a "breaking news" headline with "More details to come".

      December 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
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