Constable, two others dead in shooting near A&M campus

August 13, 2012 7:14:08 PM PDT
A Brazos County constable was reportedly attacked as he brought an eviction notice to a house near Texas A&M University Monday. He was among three people, including a suspected shooter inside that home, killed by gunfire.

According to College Station police, there were multiple crime scenes at which five people were shot. Police describe the scene as chaotic and say the shooting lasted as long as 30 minutes.

Brazos County Pct. 1 Constable Brian Bachmann and the shooting suspect, 35-year-old Thomas Caffall, were killed. Police say 43-year-old Chris Northcliff was caught in the crossfire and was also fatally shot.

Among the injured was a 55-year-old Houston mother. She was shot in the shoulder and was taken to A&M St. Joseph Regional Health Center, where she underwent surgery and now is listed in critical condition. We're told she is a Houston real estate agent who lives on the west side, but was in College Station to help her daughter move ahead of the start of the school year.

College Station police Officer Justin Oehlke was shot in the calf. He's listed as stable. We're told two other officers -- Brad Smith and Phil Dorsette -- were hit by shrapnel, but their injuries weren't serious.

It started around noon, as Constable Bachmann was serving the eviction notice at a residence in the 200 block of Fidelity. He soon found himself under fire from the suspect, said College Station Police Department Assistant Chief Scott McCollum. We're told the suspect was renting that house.

Two other officers were close by and responded, McCollum said. As they approached the scene, the suspected reportedly began to open fire on them, too. They took cover and defended themselves.

Soon, more officers arrived. Two of them opened fire on the suspect and fatally shot him. Constable Bachmann, 41, was then transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"Brian Bachmann is very close to everyone in law enforcement. He was a pillar in this community and it's sad and tragic that we've lost him today," McCollum said. "And as you can imagine, as close as he was to all the officers in this area, these are the officers that are having to work this case and work through not only the emotions but all the details that required to make sure that we have a good understanding as to why this occurred."

Authorities are still trying to determine the motive behind the shooting.

"We still have a lot of questions to ask and we just ask that the public be patient with us as we wade through this volume of information and as best as we can, try to make some sense out of this situation," McCollum said.

Caffall's sister Courtney Clark says her family is shocked by what her brother has done.

Clark says, "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families, and this is just a senseless tragedy."

Clark declined to say anything else about her brother or what might have prompted him to commit the shooting.

The scene is a few blocks from the campus football stadium, Kyle Field, and prompted Texas A&M officials to take action. At about 12:30pm, a Code Maroon warning was issued to students to avoid the intersection of Welborn Road and George Bush Drive.

Bryan Police spokesman Jon Agnew says police don't know if the shooter was a student at A&M.

Texas A&M spokeswoman Sherylon Carroll could not confirm any injuries or details about the shooting, but said most students were not on campus Monday and the fall semester doesn't begin until August 27.

"It appeared to be fairly quiet," Carroll said of campus. "It didn't appear to be a lot of people out and about at that particular time."

College Station police are still advising residents and students to avoid the area.

Constable Bachmann has been a certified peace office since 1992. He's became a Brazos County sheriff's deputy in 1993.

Meanwhile, the community is already coming together. Christ United Methodist Church on Highway 6 in College Station and A&M United Methodist Church on University Drive in the Northgate area will both hold vigils at their facilities at 7pm.

Demond Fernandez and Jessica Willey are in College Station covering the story for Eyewitness News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Load Comments