COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The family of a man accused of killing two people Monday after opening fire near Texas A&M says he was mentally ill.
Investigators said Thomas "Tres" Caffall began shooting after a Brazos County constable went to his small house near Kyle Field around 12:30 p.m. to serve an eviction notice. Police believe Brazos County Precinct One Constable Brian Bachmann, 41, was fatally shot as he approached the front door to serve an eviction notice.
Police said Caffall also killed Chris Northcliff, a 43-year-old man who neighbors said was the home's landlord. Caffall wounded a woman from Houston, and a police officer, before officers shot him to death.
Caffall refused to work after apparently quitting his job less than a year ago, his stepfather Richard Weaver said. Caffall was reportedly two months behind on rent, and owed $1,250.
Weaver said Caffall, 35, regularly played video games inside the rental home near the campus, to the extent that he lived outside the realm of reality.
He said Caffall’s violent reaction to an eviction notice is not something he is surprised by. In fact, he said he feared Caffall could to hurt, or kill, one of his own family members in recent months.
Caffall’s neighbors, many of whom had just moved to the neighborhood for the fall semester at Texas A&M, didn’t seem to know much about him until now.
Constable Isaac Butler serves in the same capacity as Bachmann in another Brazos County precinct. He is not only mourning a friend he called "brother," he is contemplating changing policy.
On Caffall’s Facebook page, he talked about a gun he won at an auction. He also showcased a Czech weapon he bought and wrote that he couldn't wait to try it out on the range. Despite the social media postings, Bachmann had no idea there were weapons in the home.
"We really go into the unknown," Butler said.
He is drafting a plan that would require landlords to tell constables if they know weapons are inside a home being evicted, or if the resident being served has any prior criminal history or any prior mental health issues.
"I think about [Bachmann's] family, and I think about mine," Butler said. "[It's] just a feeling you can't express. By the grace of God, it could have been either one of us."
Caffall’s stepfather told KHOU News over the telephone that he was worried his stepson was going to snap and said it was only a matter of when. When asked if the family ever brought the concerns to authorities, he answered no.
His mother, Linda Weaver, said she suspected her son was involved when she first heard about the shooting.
"We are just devastated. He’s been very deeply troubled," Weaver told the Huffington Post. "If you’re going to commit suicide, why take all these other people with you?"
Linda Weaver declined to speak on camera, but an attorney for the family released a statement on the shooting Monday evening:
“Our family was shocked and devastated by the tragedy this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the deceased and the wounded victims. We mourn them and the loss of Tres. He had been ill. It breaks our hearts his illness led to this. Please respect our privacy in our grief.”