UIW awaits final report to address officer’s fate

By Jenifer Jaffe

LOGOS ASSISTANT EDITOR

The University of the Incarnate Word is waiting on the completion of an investigation into a UIW police officer’s fatal, off-campus shooting of a student before determining his fate.

Chancellor Denise Doyle released a statement March 24 stating the university will not make any decisions regarding Cpl. Chris Carter’s employment until the investigation is completed into the Dec. 6 shooting death of Cameron Redus, 23.

The shooting took place in the parking lot of the student’s Treehouse apartment complex on Arcadia, a few blocks north of the campus. Carter, who said he was following a truck weaving on Broadway near the campus to make a traffic stop, remains on paid administrative leave.

“It is fair and appropriate that we wait for a legal resolution to occur before making any decisions about the status or role of Cpl. Carter at UIW,” the statement read. “We have not changed this decision though some have suggested we should act without knowing the results of the investigation.

“The investigation is taking much longer than we anticipated. This has undoubtedly increased the impatience and frustration of all involved. We are sympathetic to how difficult this has been for the friends and family of Cameron. We continue to pray for all who are suffering for this loss.”

The university’s statement was released following the March 20 release of autopsy and toxicology reports conducted by the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The autopsy shows Redus was shot five times. The findings answered many questions but also posed several new ones.

The autopsy shows the entry points of the bullets and the damage caused by each of them. Two of the shots – not necessarily given in sequence — that struck Redus were considered potentially fatal or lethal.

According to the report:

  •  Gunshot No. 1 was potentially fatal; it entered the left eye and caused significant fracturing of the facial bones. Gunpowder flakes were found on the cheek that extended four inches to the hairline, indicating Redus was shot at very close range.
  • Gunshot No. 2 penetrated the upper chest causing a contusion of the lung but did not puncture it.
  • Gunshot No. 3 was considered lethal; it entered through the upper back and traveled downward severing Redus’ spinal cord and penetrating his heart.
  • Gunshot No. 4 entered the left elbow, shattering it.
  • Gunshot No. 5 entered the right hip.

A band of bruises were also found on the neck and were believed to coincide with the second gunshot wound.

The toxicology report conducted showed Redus was legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .155, twice the limit of the legal amount for operating a motor vehicle in the state of Texas. A trace amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, the active component of marijuana, was also found in his system. He did not test positive for any other drugs.

The Redus family released a public statement after the autopsy and toxicology reports were released.

“One aspect of God’s saving grace is that we are not defined by our mistakes. Cameron’s mistakes do not negate the amazing and productive life he lived nor the loving, encouraging and compassionate person that he was. While mistakes do bear consequences, the extreme and brutal results of Cameron’s encounter with Officer Carter far exceed the magnitude of his mistakes.”

When the investigation is completed, the circumstances surrounding the two potentially fatal shots are expected to play a key factor in the grand jury’s decision. If Carter fails to prove he shot Redus because he genuinely feared for his life, he could face second-degree murder charges.

After student Ylianna Guerra read the reports, she said: “I personally don’t think Cameron could have been such a big threat to the officer that lethal force needed to be used against him.

“Although the report does not indicate the sequence in which he was shot, I would assume that the last shot was that in the back because he could’ve been trying to walk away when he was fatally shot which to me is murder — not self-defense.”

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