LUBBOCK, Texas – More chilling details of the last moments of Texas Tech Police Department (TTPD) Officer Floyd East Jr.’s life were played out in a courtroom Thursday.
Hollis Daniels III was sitting next to Officer East for 29 minutes before he made the decision to fire a semi-automatic pistol into the back of the officer’s head. Daniels then took off running with Officer East’s body camera. Officers ended up finding parts of the stolen body camera in different places. The Lubbock Police Department (LPD) and TTPD put the broken camera back together and eventually were able to recover the video that would reveal Daniels’ next moves.
On Thursday, the prosecution brought LPD Detective Thomas Bonds back to the stand to explain Daniels’ next moves after shooting Officer East. He said Daniels would go from the TTPD headquarters, then across campus to his dorm at Talkington Hall and end up over by the old Lubbock Municipal Coliseum where he was eventually captured. He estimated all of that happened in an hour and a half, while also putting the campus on lockdown.
Once caught, Daniels would be handed over to LPD custody. On Sgt. Brock Gurner’s body camera video, Daniels said, “shoot me,” and then tells him, “I shot your friend. How many years for this?” Sgt. Gurner responded, “more than you need to know.”
Police said Daniels was being uncooperative, so four officers had to carry him into another patrol car where then LPD Officer Mario Sandoval drove him to the police station.
After being interrogated by detectives, Daniels was then taken to a holding room with Officer Sandoval. There, Daniels told Officer Sandoval, “that was my first killing, I don’t really know how I feel about it.”
On the phone with his family, Daniels’ father tells his son that he’s glad he turned himself in and lets him know there are articles circulating that said he murdered a police officer. To that, Daniels responded, “ooh, that’s kind of cool.”
Shortly after, detectives would return to let him know that he had been charged with capital murder and would be held on a $5 million bond.
All of the items Daniels had on him when he was captured near the old Lubbock Municipal Coliseum were placed into a property bag.
In court Thursday, prosecutors revealed he had a plastic bag and 2 pill bottles. One bottle had 106 Xanax pills and the other had 7. Neither of the bottles were labeled as Xanax prescribed to him, and one was under the name of Hunter Woods.
Daniels was eventually transported to the Lubbock County Jail, where he’s remained since that day back on Oct. 9, 2017.
The sentencing phase will continue at 9 a.m. Friday.