A male Liberty University student was shot and killed by a school security officer following an altercation at an off-campus residence hall early Tuesday morning, according to multiple media reports.
Image source: Liberty University
WDBJ-TV reported that the incident happened at an all-female dorm, located about 3.4 miles from the school's main campus in Lynchburg, Va. The site is a former Quality Inn that is now a residence hall.
Lynchburg Police Lt. Dave Gearhart told WSET-TV a Liberty University officer shot and killed the student after some kind of altercation around 4 a.m.
Students told news media they heard around six or seven gunshots.
According to WSET, the police department confirmed that the deceased was a student at the school. The names of the officer and student have not been released.
Liberty University, a private Christian institution, confirmed in a statement on its website only that an "altercation" between a school officer and a male student "led to a shooting last night at a women's-only residence hall" and that the incident was under investigation by Lynchburg police.
"Liberty University's thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy," the statement said.
UPDATE: Religion News Service has more about the student's identity:
Police in Lynchburg, Va., identified the dead 19-year-old student as Joshua Hathaway, of Lubbock, Tex. Police said the officer, who was unidentified, was taken to an area hospital for treatment and was released.
“Joshua Hathaway, a Liberty University student, told the security officer he had been robbed and someone stole his vehicle. The security officer then began to investigate Hathaway’s complaint but Hathaway then pulled out a hammer from his clothing and assaulted the officer,” according to a search warrant affidavit written by Lynchburg police Det. Collin Byrne provided by Liberty to RNS.