By Kiana Tipton
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
Family, classmates, friends, faculty and people from Robert Cameron Redus’s hometown in Baytown, Texas, have been working to ensure his memory is not forgotten since his Dec. 6 shooting death.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him,” said Wendy Williams, a close friend of Cameron’s and a student at the University of the Incarnate Word.
Redus, 23, a senior communication arts major scheduled to graduate this May, was shot five times by Cpl. Chris Carter, 38, a UIW police officer, outside Redus’ Tree House apartment near Arcadia Place and Broadway following a traffic stop.
Texas Rangers are reportedly assisting the Alamo Heights Police Department in an ongoing investigation. Carter reportedly stopped Redus after seeing him drive his truck erratically on Broadway near UIW and pursued him. Texas law allowed the officer – who has been on administrative leave with pay — to make the stop.
Redus, known more by his middle name, Cameron, had spent the evening celebrating the end of the fall semester with classmates at Candlelight Coffee House on North St. Mary’s Street. Reports later surfaced Redus was at a bar but a toxicology report has not been released as of press time for the Logos.
On Dec. 7, a vigil for Redus held in Alice McDermott Convocation Center ended with a candlelight ceremony in Lourdes Grotto. Redus’ parents and brothers were present then and later at UIW Jan. 13 for a service of remembrance in Our Lady’s Chapel and tree planting outside Ann Barshop Natatorium. A memorial plaque will be placed there. And a scholarship has also been created in his name by a UIW alumnus.
A core group of UIW students that were close friends of Redus attended memorial services for him Dec. 12 at Memorial Baptist Church in Baytown, and more recently held a benefit in his name.
At the “Benefit in Baytown,” money was raised for his family to help with lawyer costs and other expenses related to his death. “Benefit in Baytown” had local bands play music and the friends and family comforted each other, sharing both their grief and fondest memories of Cameron.
This same group of students also created a Facebook page in his memory, called “Cardinals For Cameron,” that has generated more than 2,000 likes.
Redus’ presence was especially felt in the Department of Communications where classmates and faculty remember him as always having the best projects. Some of his work and projects have been posted on the memorial Facebook page. And students said he was someone they could always go to for help.
Although Redus’ family and friends have come together during this tragic time, they said they are still confused about the events that took place that night.
“Our family does not believe the officer’s report,” the family wrote in a statement that was sent to the San Antonio Express-News and other media outlets following the shooting. “Cameron has never been an aggressive or confrontational person. … For him to confront a police officer would be completely out of his character.
“The investigating authorities quickly cleaned up the scene and even searched his apartment before we arrived in San Antonio,” the family noted in the statement.
A recent three-page report, written by Alamo Heights Police Officer C.D. Lopez, states Carter told a campus dispatcher he was “unable to provide an exact location other than the street Preston and that he was behind an unknown bank.”
The Dec. 6 call was transferred to San Antonio Police Department dispatchers because the only Preston in the San Antonio area is Preston Avenue, approximately seven miles away from where the shooting took place.
According to this report, Carter refused to talk with officers on the scene minutes after they arrived because “he had contacted his attorney, via phone, who advised him not to say anything until the listed attorney was on scene.”
Alamo Heights Police Chief Richard Pruitt said in a news release dated Dec. 9, “we are conducting a very comprehensive and exhaustive investigation, and we are going to find all of the facts that are absolutely possible to find, and compile them into an investigative case.”
The investigation is still ongoing with the assistance of the Texas Rangers and the San Antonio District Attorney’s Office.
Scrutiny continues over decisions made by Carter and Redus in the moments leading to the fatal shooting, and there are still many unknown facts regarding the case.
Dr. Louis J. Agnese Jr., who is on a spring sabbatical as UIW president, has expressed condolences and promised a safety practices review in the wake of this tragedy, in an announcement made two weeks after the shooting.
Dr. David Jurenovich, vice president of enrollment management and student services, addressed the Student Government Association at its first meeting in January, telling the students the university will hear the investigators’ report the same time it’s issued publicly.
At the SGA meeting, President Jon Guajardo, a close friend of Redus, said some student committees will look at campus safety policies as well and possibly offer suggestions in the wake of the shooting.
As for Wendy Williams, who said she was a close friend of Redus, coping with her friend’s death has been “really devastating. But we are all helping each other get through it. We know Cameron would want us to move forward.”