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Lodi native Christopher Travis shot and killed at UC Berkeley

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Christopher Travis

Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:08 am, Thu Nov 17, 2011.

Christopher Nathen Elliot Travis' Facebook profile picture captures him standing in front of a majestic castle entrance to a winery in Napa, one of many destination locations he happened to photograph.

His personal website, Forbisher Group, lists Dale Carnegie, J. Paul Getty, Warren Buffet, John Maxwell among those he credits as models for his own personal success.

High school yearbooks show Travis as an involved and mature student who dressed in a suit and tie for picture day. He was a member of Science Olympiad, math club, chess club, the Future Business Leaders of America, the Young Republicans and Vocal Industrial Clubs of America.

But on Tuesday, something changed.

Travis, 32, and a native of Lodi, brought a loaded 9mm semi-automatic, concealed in his backpack, to a computer lab in the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley, according to campus officials.

After brandishing the gun in a threatening manner, campus officials said, Travis was shot multiple times in the chest area.

He was taken to Oakland's Highland Hospital, where he later died while receiving medical treatment, campus officials stated.

According to police logs, members of the Berkeley Police Department arrived in Lodi around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday to notify Travis' family.

Travis' family said they did not wish to comment on Travis' death Wednesday.

Getting back on his feet

A projected 2013 graduate of Haas School of Business who was also looking to study biology, Travis had struggled with various issues throughout his life.

At one point, Travis admitted he tried to commit suicide by overdosing on pills, according to a video posted on April 16 by Travis on YouTube.

The video, which Travis said on the website was part of an award presentation for him at his former job with security company AlliedBarton, also states that Travis grew up with "no direction" and "disappoint(ed) his parents."

A 1998 Lodi High School graduate, Travis also admitted on his personal website that he also initially flunked out of an unnamed college because he spent too much time playing games on his computer.

But in 2005, Travis wrote that he decided he wanted to change.

He got a job as a security guard, working for U.S. Security Associates in Stockton from 2005 to 2006.

Travis then moved to AlliedBarton Security Services, where according to his personal LinkedIn profile, he was an employee with the company for five years. He trained employees and coordinated emergency response units, among other tasks, the profile states.

"We had no issues or concerns with him during his employment," said company spokesperson Samantha Thomas.

While working, Travis also decided he wanted to go back to school. He enrolled at Ohlone College in Fremont, where he would go on to receive his Associate of Arts degree in business administration this past summer.

According to his resume on his personal website, he graduated with a 3.85 grade-point average and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Toastmasters.

According to the YouTube video, Travis also said he volunteered at an income tax assistance nonprofit and became a shift supervisor.

In the video, Travis added that he planned to get an internship with the United Nations when he completed his business degree at Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he transferred to this fall.

According to his Haas profile, Travis was looking to go into consulting or international business, as he enjoyed world traveling.

Travis was also a licensed guard and patrolman in Berkeley. His license was issued on March 10, 2004 and was still valid.

A tragic end

In the weeks leading up to Travis' death, his behavior was "unusual," according a report by the Associated Press.

The article states that UC Berkeley police Capt. Margo Bennett had spoken with family and friends, who said Travis' mood had changed.

According to the Oakland Tribune, Travis' former landlord in Berkeley said Travis randomly decided to move out of his apartment the weekend before Halloween, just four months after he had started living there.

The woman, who declined to give her name, said Travis simply pointed away from the apartment building when she asked where he was headed, according to the report.

On Wednesday, campus police said they were trying to determine why Travis brought the handgun onto campus, but campus spokesman Dan Mogulof stressed there was no evidence he had any connection to the Occupy Cal protesters who were demonstrating on the other side of campus.

Travis was shot by university police after he pointed the loaded pistol at an officer and refused numerous orders to drop the weapon, campus officials said.

There have been conflicting reports of how many other students were in the lab at the time of the shooting, though none were injured.

Thus far, campus police have interviewed 17 witnesses.

"We are grateful to the Haas staff for their alertness and to the police for their quick response to the situation that may have averted further tragedy or injury to our students, faculty and staff," UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said in an email. "The safety of our campus community is among our highest priorities."

Reporters Sara Jane Pohlman and Maggie Creamer contributed to this report.

Contact Katie Nelson at katien@lodinews.com.

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  • Sabrina Marquez posted at 11:41 am on Thu, Nov 17, 2011.

    Sabrina Marquez Posts: 3

    May God be with you in these tragic times.

  • Jocelyn Crenshaw posted at 8:49 am on Thu, Nov 17, 2011.

    Jocelyn Crenshaw Posts: 20

    My prayers go out to the Travis family and specifically Chris' younger brother who I remember looked up to Chris. So glad that no one else as hurt.



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