Houston college student killed by police

HOUSTON Courtland Smith attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where students go back to class Tuesday. Some will learn that one of their friends died this past weekend.

Right now, family and friends have more questions than answers. As Smith's death remains under investigation, all police are revealing is there was a frantic 911 call and an altercation with an officer.

A day before the fall semester begins at UNC, students are trying to understand how a fellow junior, president of his fraternity, and a Houston native, Courtland Smith, was shot to death by an officer.

"I was a little surprised by this. It's unbelievable that something like this would happen," said one student.

Smith, 20, graduated from Strake Jesuit High School in southwest Houston two years ago. Investigators say Sunday, miles away from his college campus, he made a frantic call to 911 while driving down a North Carolina highway.< /p>

"It was a gentleman driving southbound down Interstate 85, threatening to commit suicide," said Chief Darrell Gibbs of the Archdale Police Department.

Archdale police were dispatched to search for the motorist. Officers pulled Smith over near this exit.

"An altercation ensued. Officer Jeremy Flinchem shot the driver of the vehicle, who later died," said Chief Gibbs.

Police will not say if Smith was armed or how the altercation began. However, as flowers adorn the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house, students prepping for the first day of classes say it's a somber start to the semester.

"It was definitely a tragedy. I mean you come back to school, and the first thing that happens is this. It's not a good thing," said another student.

We did contact the Smith family here in Houston and understandably they were not able to comment at this time.

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