North Texas Daily

Student killed, officer injured during a disturbance call

Student killed, officer injured during a disturbance call

January 22
08:00 2020

This story has been updated with additional information to reflect new findings as of 8:50 p.m. on 1/22/2020.

A Denton police officer shot and killed a University of North Texas student early Tuesday morning after officers were dispatched in response to a disturbance at The Forum apartment complex at the 200 block of Inman Street, according to a City of Denton press release.

A Denton officer was admitted to a local hospital in stable condition after the suspect stabbed the officer. That officer has been released from the hospital, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.

DPD declined to provide the identity of the student to the Daily, but the Denton Record-Chronicle identified him as 23-year-old Darius J. Tarver. Tarver had a frying pan and cleaver in his hands and was banging on doors, shouting and shattering the light fixtures in the apartment building hallway before officers arrived.

After officers arrived on the scene, Tarver emerged from an apartment and advanced down the building’s main staircase toward the officers, who gave him “multiple loud verbal commands” to drop his weapons, according to the press release.

Tarver continued to advance and one of the officers struck him with a Taser, causing him to fall to the ground. Tarver then stood up and advanced at the officers again and an officer discharged his weapon, striking him.

Officers performed life-saving procedures on Tarver as they called Denton Fire Rescue. Tarver was transported to the hospital along with the injured officer and was pronounced dead.

Kenton Nelson, one of Tarver’s roommates, said his behavior changed last weekend about the same time he was injured in a car crash, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.

The university released an administrative announcement from President Neal Smatresk  Tuesday afternoon about Tarver’s death.

“This tragedy cuts a young life short, and we are keeping his family, friends and the officers involved in our hearts,” Smatresk said. “We ask that our students, faculty and staff support each other in expressing their grief. Our family is hurting today and we need to be there for one another.”

The university is offering counseling Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. in Chestnut Hall room 311.

As per standard practice, the Texas Rangers and Denton Police Department Internal Affairs are investigating the shooting. The officer who discharged his weapon will also be placed on administrative duty during the investigation, as is standard procedure, according to the press release.

The injured officer and officer who discharged his weapon have not yet been identified.

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Brooke Colombo

Brooke Colombo

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1 Comment

  1. Deb Armintor
    Deb Armintor January 24, 07:20

    You will never be forgotten, Darius.

    Reply to this comment

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