SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A graduate student was fatally shot by California State University, San Bernardino, police officers after he resisted being taken for a psychological evaluation and violently attacked an officer who fell to the ground, police said Sunday.
Bartholomew Williams, 38, was shot five times Saturday night in an off-campus dorm by two other officers who feared for the life of their besieged colleague, said San Bernardino police Lt. Paul Williams, whose department is investigating the shooting.
The lieutenant said the three officers went to the University Village dorm after receiving reports of a disturbance. He said Williams had two previous encounters with campus police officers earlier in the day and behaved erratically both times.
He said that when the officers handcuffed Williams to take him for a psychological evaluation, he resisted and a struggle ensued. He said officers used pepper spray and struck Williams with their batons, but the 6-foot, 200-pound student couldn't be subdued.
"The suspect demonstrated some super human-strength," the lieutenant said.
Police said Williams grabbed pepper spray and used it on one of the officers. When that officer fell to the ground, Williams kicked him in the head and chest.
"Officers fearing for that officer's life believed they had no other means than the use of deadly force," Lt. Williams said.
Williams was shot in the torso and declared dead at the scene. His family indicated that he suffered a "mental instability" and was likely off his medication at the time of the confrontation, the lieutenant said.
The university said Williams, who was studying educational-instructional technology, was enrolled in one course during the fall quarter that ended Friday. He began taking classes at the university last summer.
The three officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.