A bloody shootout near the campus of Texas A&M left three dead, including a law enforcement officer and the initial shooter—a man whose family said he played video games so much that they believed it was warping his sense of reality.
Thomas Alton Caffall, 35, opened fire on Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann when Bachmann came to serve him with an eviction notice shortly after noon in College Station, Texas. Bachmann and Caffall both were pronounced dead at the hospital after Caffall engaged in a prolonged shootout with law enforcement. Also killed was Chris Northcliff, 43. In addition, three other law enforcement officers and a 55-year-old woman were wounded, according to College Station Assistant Police Chief Scott McCollum.
“Our family was shocked and devastated by the tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the decease and wounded victims,” Linda Weaver, Caffall’s mother, told CBS station KHOU. “He had been ill. It breaks our hearts his illness led to this.
Richard Weaver, Caffall’s stepfather, said the family was so afraid of Caffall that they thought he might wind up killing one of them. Weaver said that after quitting his job less than a year ago, Caffall played video games inside his rental home so much that he lived outside the realm of reality. But Weaver said the family never sought help for his stepson.
His mother, Linda Weaver, said when she first heard about the shooting, she suspected that her son might be involved.
“We are just devastated. He’s been very deeply troubled,” Weaver told the Huffington Post. “If you’re going to commit suicide, why take all these other people with you?”
Caffall talked about his weapons on his Facebook page, saying he had won a gun at an auction and had bought another Czech weapon that he wrote he couldn’t wait to try out on the range.
When Caffall opened fire on Bachmann, officers responded to the scene and saw Bachmann wounded on the ground in the front yard. Law enforcement then proceeded to get into a shootout with Caffall that lasted as long as 30 minutes. When it was over, Northcliff, who was outside the home, and the 55-year-old woman were shot, in addition to Caffall. Caffall and Bachmann were pronounced dead at the hospital.
The woman was listed as in serious condition following surgery. An injured officer, Justin Oehlkee, was treated for a gunshot wound in the calf and was in stable condition, while two other officers, Brad Smith and Phil Dorsett, were treated for “shrapnel injuries” and released.