University police received a call from a resident adviser at the American River Courtyard dormitory shortly before 2:30 p.m. Wednesday reporting a "major disturbance" in the building, university police Sgt. Joe Green said.
When the authorities entered the room, they found Hawkins lying unconscious on the ground in a pool of blood and one of his four roommates, 19-year-old Quran Jones, holding a knife, Green said.
The officers told Jones to drop the knife but he refused, and the officers deployed a pepper-ball gun to no effect, according to Green.
Jones then allegedly waved the knife "in a threatening manner" and "charged" at the officers, Green said. Two officers shot Jones.
Jones and Hawkins were both transported to a hospital where Hawkins was pronounced dead.
Jones remained hospitalized at the University of California at Davis Medical Center today and is expected to survive, Green said. He is in police custody on suspicion of murder and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.
Investigators are working to determine a motive for the incident. Green said the other three roommates were not home at the time and that the murder is believed to be "an isolated incident."
He said the last murder on the university campus was in 1998.
"It's not a common occurrence here, obviously," Green said.
He said that despite the shock, "The student body is doing pretty well." Counselors have been made available 24 hours a day for students and staff.