Joshua Hathaway, a 19-year-old student at Liberty University in Lubbock, Texas, was killed earlier this week after an altercation with a campus security officer. Hathaway’s roommate told investigating officers that Hathaway had been behaving strangely of late and was having difficulties academically and financially, as reported by The Christian Post.
During the altercation, Hathaway approached an armed campus security officer with a report that he had been robbed and his car had been stolen. When the officer began to investigate, Hathaway assaulted the officer with a hammer he had hidden in his clothing. After a struggle, the officer fired twice at Hathaway, who died at the scene.
A friend of Hathaway, Ryan Morris, wrote a post on the school’s Facebook page defending Hathaway against accusations that he was a drug addict or was a “deranged lunatic.”
“He was a good man until the event. He was a close friend of mine. And would help anyone who needed it at the drop of a hat,” wrote Morris. He added that Hathaway was “not very outgoing necessarily.”
“Yes he made a poor decision. That inevitably cost him his life. But that doesn’t make him inhuman,” continued Morris. “Yes, it was a decision to injure another person. And that is where he stopped seeming like his normal self. … No sides should be picked, only sympathy and support for all involved.”
Bill Lane, a Lubbock resident and friend of Hathaway, said the teen loved the Lord and his family.
“Today has been the hardest day in our school’s history. One of our best and brightest lost his life under tragic circumstances. No matter the final outcome of what may have happened, nothing will diminish the incredible impact Josh Hathaway had on the lives of so many. He loved the Lord, and loved completely his family and friends,” wrote Lane.
Hathaway’s former teachers called him a “brilliant” student and “a really great kid.”