"The officer did what they had to do in the situation which I also cannot blame them for they were in the right in the moment of the situation. But the reason for this post is to get the truth out about the student so that no one questions the good man he was before the unfortunate event damaging the lives of his family, the officer who had to make the ultimate decision of decisions, the family of sed [sic] officer, of the students of the annex 1 and 2 and the rest of LU students, and ultimately the life of the student. No sides should be picked only sympathy and support for all involved."
According to online notices published in May this year, Hathaway was among 10 other graduates of Southcrest Christian School, a Southcrest Baptist Church ministry that services grades pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Hathaway and his peers were the first graduating class from the private Christian school, founded in 1993.
The Liberty University freshman, who was noted for his extracurricular activities that included basketball and the high school band, graduated with a 4.57 GPA and was the high school's Salutatorian speaker this year. He also apparently had a knack for foreign languages and once traveled to Peru on a mission trip.
Hathaway had been accepted to Liberty University on a full scholarship and was studying business.
Susie Driscoll, who taught Hathaway in junior high at Southcrest, said the teen was a "brilliant" student.
"Josh [was] a really great kid," said Driscoll. "We are devastated by the news."
Bill Lane, a Lubbock, Texas, resident and friend of Hathaway's, said the teen loved the Lord and his family.
"Today has been the hardest day in our school's history. One of our best and brightest lost his life under tragic circumstances. No matter the final outcome of what may have happened, nothing will diminish the incredible impact Josh Hathaway had on the lives of so many. He loved the Lord, and loved completely his family and friends," wrote Lane.
Lane said he accompanied Hathaway on his Peru mission trip last year and took the photo shown below, which he shared publicly on Southcrest Christian School's Facebook page.
"We will all miss Josh and never forget him," Lane added, also expressing condolences to Hathaway's family. "As Josh and I hugged each other on the night before he left for college, we agreed on no goodbyes. It was a simple 'see ya later.' So, see ya later in Heaven my sweet young friend."