Student with ax shot, killed by UNT police near Denton campus

A University of North Texas student was shot and killed early Sunday morning during a confrontation with police near the Denton campus.

UNT police said Ryan McMillan of Fort Worth had been out drinking the night before to celebrate his 21st birthday.

Residents of an apartment complex on Fry Street called police about him because he was breaking car windows in the parking garage.

"When the police officer got here, he saw a suspect who had a hatchet and the suspect advanced on him and so he fired at the suspect in response,” said Margarita Venegas, the UNT campus spokesperson.

Video obtained by the campus newspaper shows a man walking through a garage with something in his hand.

Friends of McMillan said it’s not like the man they knew.

“They’re mad that he’s gone and that something like this happened. It’s just so quick,” said Dmetri Howell.

“It’s horrible. It’s tragic. But if someone charged at me with an axe, I couldn’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing,” said Ben Angrisano.

The officer involved was not hurt, but is now on leave while the Texas Rangers investigate the shooting.

UNT police were asked to respond because Denton police were busy with other calls. Denton police will handle the vandalism in the parking garage.

"This is a tragic event that saddens us as a university community. We offer our condolences to the individuals, their families and all involved," UNT President Neil Smatresk said in a statement. "Although this is a time when many of our students, faculty and staff are home for the holidays, I ask that you please help support them and each other during this sad time."

The university is offering free counseling services for students.

It could take up to 60 days for toxicology test results on McMillan.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office is handling the autopsy and will determine whether McMillan had drugs or alcohol in his system.

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