Man Shot at UC Berkeley Had Troubled Past

Security company used Travis as example of a great employee who used his career to turn life around.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    We are learning more about the U.C. Berkeley transfer student, shot and killed by campus police, after reportedly pointing a handgun at them.

    Officials at Cal said the man who was shot by officers inside the Haas School of Business on Tuesday afternoon has died.

    University of California, Berkeley, officials identified the man as Christopher Nathen Elliot Travis. Travis was a 32 year old undergraduate student.

    NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez talked to his former landlord who described Travis as a very quiet and reserved. He moved out just before Halloween. UC officials told Hernandez that Travis claimed to work as a security guard trainer.

    UC Berkeley Police Shoot Man at Haas

    [BAY] UC Berkeley Police Shoot Man at Haas
    It was a chaotic scene, and how the university reacted to the man is being criticized tonight. Some students say they had no idea what was happening and are blaming Cal's emergency alert system. NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd reports.

    Police said he had a loaded semi-automatic 9mm Ruger handgun with him when he was shot.

    “This is one of the most difficult times we have had as a community,” Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said.  “I want to thank the Haas staff for their alertness in this issue. It was just extraordinary. This sets an example for responsibility and alertness. I also want to thank the police for their very quick response.” 

    RAW VIDEO: Interview with Cal Shooting Witness

    [BAY] RAW VIDEO: Interview with Cal Shooting Witness
    Jody Hernandez talks to a man who witnessed the incident in the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley.

    Allied Barton Security Services used Travis  in a video as an example of the kind of people it employs.

    The video says Travis attempted suicide in the past, but found a place and a purpose at Allied Barton. It mentions he was a student at Cal and quotes him as saying, "I want to learn more and do more to make this world better."

    Travis was shot around 2:20 p.m. Tuesday in a third-floor computer lab after officers responded to a report of a man with a weapon.

    A female staff member and her supervisor are the heroes of the story. The woman said she was on the elevator when she saw Travis reach into his backpack and she saw what appeared to be a gun.

    She was "extremely concerned," and when the man got off at the third floor, she continued to the fifth floor and notified her supervisor Lyle Nevels.

    The two of them said they starting searching the building thinking something was wrong. They found the man in question in the computer lab and called police. While they waited for police, Nevels quietly went into the room and sat in the back. When police arrived, Nevels said he could hear police saying "Put down your gun. Put down your gun." Then three or four shots rang out.

    When the officers made contact with the Travis they said he "pulled a firearm out in a threatening manner," UC Berkeley police Chief Mitch said.

    They ordered him several times to drop the weapon, and one officer, fearing for his life, opened fire, Celaya said.

    Campus police said they interviewed 17 witnesses in the ongoing investigation and will continue with further interviews.

    Travis was hit and was taken to Highland Hospital. He had surgery, but died late Tuesday.

    No officers or students were hurt.