Skip to main content

3 killed in shootings near Texas A&M University

By the CNN Wire Staff
August 14, 2012 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The suspect's mother says he was "ill" and says her family is "devastated"
  • The Brazos County constable killed had gone to deliver an eviction notice, police say
  • The alleged gunman was also fatally shot, as was a civilian bystander
  • 3 profile pictures on what's believed to be the suspect's Facebook are of rifles

(CNN) -- A Texas constable and two others were shot dead Monday in about a half an hour of gunfire near Texas A&M University, police said.

Scott McCollum, assistant chief with the College Station police department, told reporters Monday afternoon that the three people killed were a Brazos County constable, the man authorities say exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officers and a male civilian.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund noted that the slain constable, Brian Bachmann, is the sixth law enforcement official killed so far this year in Texas.

According to his Facebook campaign page, Bachmann was a 41-year-old from College Station who had been a Brazos County sheriff's deputy since 1993. The county's website indicated that his four-year term as constable -- a position that involves, among other duties, serving court documents such as eviction notices and subpoenas to citizens -- was set to expire on December 31, 2014.

Shooting suspect had Facebook gun photos

"He was a pillar in this community, and it's sad and tragic that we've lost him today," McCollum said.

The city of College Station on Monday night identified the suspect at the center of the standoff as 35-year-old Thomas Caffall.

College Station police identified the dead suspect as 35-year-old Thomas Caffall of Bryan, Texas.
College Station police identified the dead suspect as 35-year-old Thomas Caffall of Bryan, Texas.

On a Facebook page purported to be by Caffall, he indicates his hometown is nearby Bryan, Texas, but that he was living in College Station -- though he also described himself as "a cross between Forrest Gump and Jack Kerouac ... I'm on the road permanently."

Three of the seven profile pictures on the Facebook page are of rifles, three feature dogs and one shows a man in an image much like one distributed Monday night by the city of College Station. His list of "inspirational people" includes famed snipers Vasily Zaytsev and Carlos Hathcock, as well as noted firearms designers Eugene Stoner, Mikhail Kalashnikov, John Garand, Samuel Colt and John Browning. The writer indicates he is divorced and has a mother, sister and brother.

The page also includes a quote saying, "We are all capable of redemption, if we are willing to change," plus another he attributes to George Orwell stating, "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

As to the third victim, described as a "civilian bystander," he was identified as 43-year-old Chris Northcliff of College Station.

Map: College Station shooting  Map: College Station shooting
Map: College Station shootingMap: College Station shooting

Four others suffered injuries in the roughly 30-minute ordeal after law enforcement officers arrived at a residence a few blocks from the Texas A&M campus.

They included College Station police Officer Justin Oehlke, who was shot in the calf, and two other officers -- one of whom refused transport to an area hospital -- who suffered "non-life-threatening injuries," McCollum said. A 55-year-old female civilian who was shot was undergoing surgery Monday afternoon at a hospital, according to the assistant police chief.

He explained that police got a call shortly after 12:10 p.m. from a citizen indicating shots had been fired in the residential area just south of the university campus. He added that the constable had gone to the residence to deliver an eviction notice.

Texas A&M issued a Code Maroon -- the university's emergency notification system -- at 12:29 p.m., telling people to avoid the area because of a report of an "active shooter."

By then, two law enforcement officers who were nearby had responded and found the constable down in the front yard of a home. They "received fire from the suspect inside, ... took cover and defended themselves," McCollum said, noting other officers were then called to the scene.

"They ended up shooting the gunman," said the assistant police chief.

At 12:44 p.m., Texas A&M posted another Code Maroon update on its website indicating the suspect was by then "in custody."

Caffall's mother Linda Weaver issued a statement through family attorney W. Tyler Moore indicating her son, whom she called Tres, was "ill" and saying the family was "shocked and devastated by the tragedy."

"Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the deceased and the wounded victims," Weaver said. "We mourn them and the loss of Tres. He had been ill. It breaks our hearts his illness led to this."

College Station Mayor Nancy Berry also put out a statement Monday night in which she lauded Bachmann, her city's police department and others "who stood with us throughout the day."

"What unfolded today in College Station is beyond tragic," Berry said. "There are many victims, including families of Mr. Caffall and Mr. Northcliff, who will continue to suffer physical and emotional pain for a very long time, and we shouldn't forget them."

Live updates from CNN affiliate KBTX

By the numbers: Guns in America

After shootings, opinions on gun control haven't changed

CNN's Nick Valencia, Jason Morris and Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT