12/22/2013

Witness: Student killed by campus cop fought officer

Kyle Carnett, who witnessed part of the struggle, said Robert Cameron Redus attempted to strike Cpl. Christopher Carter and ignored the officer's orders

The Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO  — A University of Incarnate Word student who was fatally shot by a campus police officer earlier this month had resisted arrest and scuffled with the officer moments before, a fellow student at the Roman Catholic university in San Antonio says.

Kyle Carnett, who witnessed part of the struggle but did not see the shooting, told the San Antonio Express-News that Robert Cameron Redus attempted to strike Cpl. Christopher Carter and ignored the officer's orders. Carter kept telling Redus to stop, then warned him repeatedly to "stop, or I'll shoot," before firing six times.

"From what I saw, Cameron was definitely not being cooperative. Anything but," Carnett, 21, said of the Dec. 6 shooting in the parking lot of an apartment complex north of campus. "Cameron was definitely resisting arrest and making it very difficult for the officer and striking him, or at least attempting to strike him."

Carnett's account aligns with details of the early-morning confrontation provided by Alamo Heights police, who are investigating the shooting along with Texas Rangers.

Police said Carter, 38, began following Redus' pickup to the apartment complex after seeing it hit a curb and then veer into the opposite lanes.

An audio recording of the six-minute encounter reveals Carter told Redus 14 times to put his hands behind his back, told him three times that he was under arrest, and told him to stop resisting 56 times.

Carnett said he witnessed one to two minutes of the struggle, adding that he was not able to see whether Redus hit the officer with a police baton, as Carter told investigators. Carter said Redus took the baton and struck him with it before the officer was able to take it back.

Carnett had turned away just before Carter fired at Redus, striking him five times.

The Redus family has said they understand Cameron Redus was responsible to a degree, but said he was initially cooperative and questioned the justification in repeatedly shooting an unarmed student.

"The family has never questioned the fact that Cameron was resisting arrest," spokesman Mark Hall said. "But the family has questions that no one has been able to answer: What precipitated this? Cameron was initially cooperative. He responded to the officer's request to return to his truck and placed his hands on the truck. At that point, Cameron started resisting arrest.

"We don't know if Cameron was being hurt. ... Short of having all the facts, the family doesn't want to speculate on what caused Cameron to initially resist arrest," he said.

Hall said the family is aware that Redus was celebrating that night and had consumed alcohol, but added, "we do not believe the officer followed any appropriate procedures for stopping a person suspected of driving while intoxicated."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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