UCPD shoots, kills student brandishing gun at Haas

UC Berkeley sophomore Cody Barcikowski had been in a third-floor computer lab at the Haas School of Business for 15 minutes when he heard an angry voice repeatedly order someone to lower his gun, followed by four or five gunshots from an adjacent lab.

Barcikowski dived under a table and was quickly herded out of the room by staff.

“It was really surreal,” he said.

Christopher Nathen Elliot Travis, 32, was identified Wednesday as the man shot and killed by a UCPD officer Tuesday afternoon after brandishing a gun at officers. Campus officials have confirmed Travis was an undergraduate transfer student in his first semester at the school.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, UCPD Capt. Margo Bennett said the suspect had been carrying a loaded 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, registered in his name in San Jose, Calif.

“He was carrying a weapon, the weapon was real and the weapon was loaded,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.

At the press conference, Bennett provided a more detailed description of the shooting than had been previously offered. According to Bennett, police officers walked down the center aisle of the computer lab toward Travis — located with the help of a staff member at the school — who looked up, saw the officers and pulled the gun from his backpack. Travis then pointed the gun at the officers. After Travis refused to comply with multiple orders to lower the weapon, one officer shot Travis.

Bennett said an autopsy conducted Wednesday morning showed multiple gunshot wounds on Travis’s body. She added that Travis did not possess a concealed weapons permit.

Nine other people were present in the room at the time of the shooting, three of whom were “in the line of fire,” Bennett said.

According to UCPD Lt. Alex Yao, Travis was still conscious after being injured. Police officers attended to his medical needs before an ambulance took him to Highland Hospital in Oakland, where he died Tuesday evening.

Mogulof said the notification of Travis’s death to his family took place in Lodi, Calif.

According to Bennett, since Tuesday UCPD has spoken with several individuals close to Travis — including family members and former roommates — who reported “indications of unusual behavior” in Travis in the weeks prior to the incident.

“We’re trying to put together the whole puzzle,” she said.

Bennett said the incident had to have been carried out by a “troubled” individual.

Josh Keller, a reporter from the Chronicle of Higher Education, captured a screenshot of a website written by a man matching Travis’s physical description and age. On the website — which has since been taken down — the man marketed himself as a teacher and speaker who had overcome two suicide attempts and was in the process of returning to school to focus on his education.

“I want to learn more and do more to make this world better,” the website read. “I want to be remembered as someone who would never give up.”

In a promotional video for AlliedBarton Security Services, Travis’s former employer, Travis was described as an individual “motivated by purpose in his personal life.” According to the video, Travis aspired to receive an internship with the United Nations and pursue a career in international business.

In an email sent to the Haas community Wednesday, Dean Richard Lyons said the school will increase the security presence in the buildings and review possible long-term enhancements for the security system.

“What happened yesterday only hurts,” he said in the email. “But there is meaning in our community. I encourage you to find support and reassurance in each other in the coming days and weeks as we seek to make sense of this tragic event.”