was being evicted from rented home
Police in College Station Texas said today that Thomas Alton Caffall III, 35, opened fire immediately as a constable approached his home to serve an eviction notice on Monday.
“From our investigation and information we received, Constable Bachmann arrived on the scene,” Police Chief Jeff Capps said today. “Either upon his approach to the house or shortly thereafter he was shot by the suspect.”
Capps said at that point Caffall, who would have turned 36 next week, simply began firing out of his home. He said Caffall had “long guns and pistols” inside his home, but it is unclear what weapons were used in the thirty minute long gunbattle.
“In the process of that, there was another victim who was shot, probably several hundred yards down the roadway.”
One of those who was shot, according to College Station officials, was Barbara Holdsworth, 51, of Houston, who was in College Station helping her daughter Sarah, who is a student at Texas A&M, move into a new residence before the start of school. She is hospitalized in serious condition.
A 51 year old College Station man was also shot and killed, Bachmann, 41, died later at a hospital, and Caffall died after being shot by police, Capps said.
He said there is no record of any previous police calls made to Caffall’s home southwest of the main Texas A&M campus.
“Or agency has not dealt with him very much at all, if any,” Capps said.
Capps said much about the situation remains unclear, including exactly what prompted Caffall to open fire on the constable. Officials said several days ago, the owner of Caffall’s home had filed what is called a ‘forcible entry and detainer’ petition, which authorized Bachmann to evict Caffall from the rented home.
Relatives and neighbors of Caffall told media outlets the 35 year old was ‘disturbed,’ and had left his job and essentially cut himself off from society in recent months, incidents that Larry Barton, who studies mass killers at the American College in Pennsylvania and teaches threat assessment at the FBI Academy, told Reuters is common among people who lash out violently.
“That is a grievance collector, a person who is living in life’s crawl space,” Barton said. “He basically gave up on life, when you become detached like that it is important to get psychological counseling for people like that.”
Patrick Clark, Caffell’s brother in law in College Station, says he had not seen Caffell in several months.
“We are extremely upset for the victim’s families,” Clark told Reuters. “I don’t think anybody should worry about our grief. Our thoughts are only for the people whose lives he ruined.”