POLICE: Tense campus encounter includes 7 loaded guns, demand for officers to shoot

Published 10:29 am Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Police arrested a 63-year-old man Monday night on the Lamar University campus after authorities said he was highly agitated and carrying seven loaded weapons, including two AK-47 rifles.

Lamar University Police identified the suspect as Mark Edward Smith, noting he was a former Lamar University employee.

School officials said Smith worked in the maintenance department for more than five years was terminated last week.

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Smith is charged with driving while intoxicated, unlawful carry of a firearm, failure to identify and resisting arrest. According to jail records, Smith is a Nederland resident.

Jail records indicate Judge Naomi Doyle — Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1 Place 1 — set Smith’s bond at $4,400. As of Tuesday at 10 a.m., he was still in jail.

The arrest occurred at the Lamar University T-9 parking lot, located at the corner of Iowa Avenue and Rolfe Christopher Drive in Beaumont.

Police said a suspicious male in a pickup truck was following a Lamar University police officer at 9:14 p.m. Monday. The officer noticed the truck and stopped to make contact with the driver, who appeared intoxicated, police said.

According to authorities, the driver had five loaded handguns, two loaded AK-47 rifles and a bag of loose ammunition “within his immediate reach.”

“The suspect was highly agitated, telling officers to shoot him at the scene,” a Lamar Police release said. “Officers were able to subdue the suspect; he was taken to the hospital for medical clearance before being transported to the Jefferson Council jail.”