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Report finds suicide as motive for November Haas shooting, clears police officer

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MAY 31, 2012

A report released by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office cleared a UCPD officer of any criminal liability in the November shooting of Haas School of Business student Christopher Travis.

On Nov. 15, 2011, Travis pulled out a handgun from his backpack in a Haas computer lab and pointed it at officers, at which point UCPD Sgt. Andrew Tucker opened fire, the report states. Travis was taken to Highland General Hospital in Oakland, where he died during the course of medical attention, said UCPD Chief Mitch Celaya in November.

According to the report, the office did not find sufficient evidence to file any charges against Tucker in the shooting.

“All the information available at the time supports Sgt. Tucker(’s) reasonable belief the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury posed by Christopher Travis,” reads the report.

In addition, the report states that evidence strongly suggests that Travis intentionally provoked a violent confrontation with police. In November, Haas Business School Dean Richard Lyons said UCPD’s leading theory was that the shooting was a “suicide by police officer.”

According to the report, on Nov. 11, 2003, Travis attempted suicide by swallowing an excessive amount of prescription sleeping pills. The report states he was found and taken to a nearby hospital, where he admitted that his overdose was an attempt to end his own life.

The report also details several incidents in which Travis displayed firearms to Oakland and Berkeley police officers in the months leading up to the shooting.

Family members interviewed after the November shooting told police that Travis’ behavior had become “distant and uncommunicative.”

Read the full text of the report below:

Christopher Yee is an assistant news editor.

MAY 31, 2012

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