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Hurricane Experts Available for Media

Hurricane Experts Available for Media

University of Houston experts, including James Lawrence, associate professor of geosciences, are prepared to comment on the topics related to hurricane season preparation and response.

Richard Bonnin
rbonnin@uh.edu
713-743-8155

UH Police Arrest Suspect In Bus Stop MurderArrest After Altercation Leads 32-Year-Old Male to Confess to Killing on Feb. 7, Police Say

April 23, 2009 - Houston - A 32-year-old male is in Harris County Jail on a charge of murder after his arrest Wednesday by investigators with the University of Houston Department of Public Safety (UHDPS).

Jeremy Lee Pierce was arrested by UH campus police officers after he was involved in an altercation in a residential complex in which he threatened two students with a pistol, UHDPS officials said.

The two acquaintances told campus police that Pierce, who was initially arrested on a charge of making a terroristic threat, had admitted killing a male, identified as 47-year-old Joe David Tall, at a bus stop at the 3500 block of Cullen, near Hofheinz Pavilion, on Feb. 7.

UHDPS Sgt. John Williams and Officer Paul Mauro conducted the investigation of the altercation. As details of the Feb. 7 murder were discovered, Houston Police Department homicide investigators were contacted, leading to a charge of murder being filed against Pierce in the 177th State District Court. Pierce, a UH student, is scheduled to appear in court to face the charge Friday.

"Paul Mauro and John Williams coordinated the investigation of the altercation and through good police work, connected the suspect to the homicide. They assisted the Houston Police Department in the successful investigation that led to the suspect's confession regarding the murder," said UHDPS Assistant Chief of Police Brad Wigtil.

Statistically, the university remains as safe and secure as most areas of Houston and safer than many, said UHDPS Chief Malcolm Davis. Nearly 50 police officers and two dozen security officers patrol the UH campus and more than 500 security cameras enable police to monitor the campus around the clock.

  • The university's continuing crime prevention efforts include:
  • Video monitoring of all campus parking lots and other selected areas - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Security assessments to determine campus strengths and weaknesses
  • Increased lighting and emergency call boxes throughout campus
  • Walk in the Dark Program - a guided tour designed to observe parts of the campus that might lack sufficient lighting or pose safety hazards
  • Safety escorts for students on campus at night
  • Ongoing safety training programs for emergency personnel

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students.