Law officers on Thursday levied more charges against a police cadet who last month was accused of accidentally shooting three classmates while attending a police training course.

Clayton Whatley, 21, of League City, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

The new charges came after one of the shooting victims told investigators she believed Whatley might have been targeting her and accidentally fired a shot too early, police said.

Whatley on April 25 had been charged with a felony after firing a handgun inside a classroom at the College of the Mainland, where he was part of a police cadet training program.

The gunshot came after Whatley reached into a backpack during a class about defensive tactics, police said. He told investigators he fired the gun accidentally while he was reaching for a pencil, police said.

The bullet struck the ground and fragments hit three people. Two of the people, a man and a woman, were taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for treatment, police said.

Whatley, who police said does not have a license to carry a concealed weapon, was initially charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon in an institute of higher education, a third degree felony.

Police continued investigating the incident after those charges were filed, according to a police complaint The Daily News obtained Friday.

Police on April 29 interviewed one of the people hit by the bullet fragments, a 29-year-old woman.

The woman told police she had become friends with Whatley over the first few months of the class, according to a complaint.

She told police Whatley had helped her study for a section of the class she did not understand. As thanks for his help, he asked her to buy him a Dr Pepper, according to the complaint.

After she bought him the drink, Whatley began to “get weird” and asked her to put gas in his truck and buy him a pack of cigarettes, according to the complaint.

Those interactions led to a falling out and the two stopped speaking, according to the complaint.

She also described an incident during which Whatley had punched her in the arm several times, seemingly playfully.

The woman told him to stop and “to start hitting on another male in the class,” according to the complaint.

Whatley stopped after being confronted by another other classmate, according to the complaint.

After the second incident, Whatley had begun to choose seats in the class directly behind the woman, according to the complaint. On the day of the shooting, Whatley had gotten into an argument with another student over a seat directly behind the woman, according to the complaint.

The woman told police she was in fear for life and believed Whatley intended to shoot her, but had mishandled the handgun, according to the complaint.

Police issued new warrants for Whatley’s arrest April 30. He was arrested Thursday in League City, according to police records.

His bond for the two assault charges was set at $20,000, according to court records. He was no longer in custody at the Galveston on Friday afternoon, according to Galveston County Jail records.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


(1) comment

Doug Sivyer

Wow. Sounds like the plot for a novel

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