College Station police release timeline detailing fatal shooting

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by MATT GOODMAN

WFAA

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 17 at 11:02 PM

College Station shooting

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At 12:11 p.m. on Aug. 13, College Station police dispatchers received an emergency call reporting a shooting at a home near the Texas A&M University campus. 

Twenty-four minutes later, a constable and a civilian were dead along with the suspect, revealed later to be 35-year-old Thomas Caffall. On Friday, investigators issued a timeline detailing a more concrete picture of the fatal outburst. 

Before the call, Caffall shot and killed Brazos County Constable Brian Bachmann as he approached the small home to evict the tenant. According to the new information, investigators found a semi-automatic sniper rifle, an assault rifle, a .40 caliber Glock pistol and a bolt-action rifle inside Caffall’s residence afterward.

College Station Police Department spokeswoman Rhonda Seaton said Caffall fired at least 65 shots during the incident. Investigators have not determined how many rounds responding officers are responsible for. 

The first 911 call came at 12:11 p.m. The caller reported an officer was shot as well as his girlfriend, later identified as Barbara Towne Holdsworth, a 42-year-old Houston woman who was helping her daughter move into a home nearby. 

Seaton said Holdsworth was shot three times in the lungs as she pulled her car into a driveway. She remains hospitalized. Bachmann, the 41-year-old Precinct 1 Constable, was shot dead as he walked to Caffall’s front door to serve an eviction notice. 

The 35-year-old’s landlord, Chris Northcliff, was fatally wounded standing near a car about 100 yards away. After shooting Bachmann, Seaton said witnesses saw Caffall approach his body and remove his issued gun from his belt. 

One witness also fired five to six rounds from a “small caliber handgun” at the suspect before authorities responded, Seaton said.

When police arrived at 12:14 p.m., they immediately came under fire. At 12:18 p.m., backup arrived and formed a perimeter. During this period, College Station Police Officer Justin Oehlke was shot in the calf. He survived his injury.

At 12:28 p.m., another two officers used a patrol vehicle as cover to try and reach Holdsworth and Northcliffe. At 12:30 p.m., a pair of SWAT officers got to the scene and formed a plan.

At 12:35 p.m., 24 minutes after that initial emergency call, Caffall was shot and killed. After the scene was secured, investigators found Bachmann’s service weapon inside Caffall’s home, Seaton said. 

College Station officers Brad Smith and Phil Dorsett were treated and released for "shrapnel injuries" during the shooting. 

The Associated Press reported Bachmann is the first constable killed in the line of duty since December 1989 when Randall Millican was gunned down serving the same post in the county precinct. 

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