A 21-year-old University of North Texas student reported to have been knocking out car windows with an axe was shot and killed by campus police Sunday morning after moving toward an officer, campus officials say.
UNT police said they were called at about 1 a.m. Sunday on a report of a person knocking out car windows inside a parking garage at Fry and Oak streets.
When campus police arrived, an officer reported finding a man with an axe in his hand. The man, later identified by the Tarrant County medical examiner as Ryan McMillan, made a move toward the officer and was fatally shot, police said.
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UNT officials confirmed McMillan, who turned 21 on Saturday, was a sophomore pre-hospitality major and had transferred to UNT from Weatherford College this fall.
"This is a tragic event that saddens us as a university community. We offer our condolences to the individuals, their families and all involved," said UNT President Neal Smatresk in a statement Sunday.
The shooting took place near an apartment complex where students live. Several restaurants and bars are located in the vicinity.
"All of a sudden we heard four shots go, 'Pop, pop, pop, pop,'" said business owner, Steve Marks. "Everyone was having fun, drinking and then all of a sudden everyone just scattered."
NBC DFW viewer Bink Ruckthongsook snapped a picture of paramedics tending to the man in the street. Ruckthongsook said he heard three gun shots.
On Sunday, the North Texas Daily, the university's student newspaper, released video it received that appeared to show the man walking through a parking garage, carrying something in his hand, before the shooting.
The Tarrant County medical examiner did confirm McMillan died of multiple gunshot wounds, but did not say how many. Whether or not McMillan was the under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be determined by the medical examiner. Results of toxicology tests can take up to 60 days to receive.
At least seven vehicles were damaged in the parking garage and it's not clear when they will be fixed or when the damage will be cleaned up.
"Windshields are smashed, windows are smashed," said resident Benjamin Agrisano. "There are axe markings all over the cars. It was pretty crazy. It looked like something out of a horror movie."
UNT said the university's police department is cooperating with the shooting investigation being conducted by the Texas Rangers. The Denton Police Department is investigating the vandalism case.
Smatresk said the officer involved is on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
NBC 5's Jeff Smith contributed to this report.