Early Sunday morning, campus police at the University of North Texas in Denton were forced to shoot and kill student Ryan McMillan after he advanced on them — while carrying an ax.
McMillan, a sophomore who turned 21 years old that night, allegedly confronted the officers after law enforcement received calls of a man with an ax breaking car windows in a campus parking garage.
When officers arrived, McMillan apparently advanced on them, and an officer fearing for his life discharged his weapon, killing the college student.
North Texas Daily, the campus’ newspaper, received video of a man who appears to be McMillan from earlier in the night, walking around a parking garage carrying what looks like an ax (below):
UNT President Neal Smatresk said in a statement:
“This is a tragic event that saddens us as a university community. We offer our condolences to the individuals, their families and all involved.”
McMillan’s friends are devastated by the shooting, of course, with one friend — Matthew McDermott — hypothesizing that McMillan may have been under the influence of alcohol that night and not in his right state of mind:
“I can’t really put into words how I feel about the fact that one of the nicest people I ever met was shot because an officer felt threatened. I want to drive to Denton and scream at the top of my lungs at the police department, but that’s stupid and irrational. But it just really angers me.”
The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave while the Texas Rangers conduct an investigation into the shooting.
Our thoughts are with everyone close to all parties involved in Sunday’s tragic incident.