Autopsy Report Raises Troubling Questions in Fatal Shooting of UIW Student

http://cdn.therivardreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/bexar-county-medical-examiner-redus-report.jpg
[Published on March 20, 2014]

The tragic off-campus shooting death of University of the Incarnate Word honor student Robert Cameron Redus by UIW police officer Chris Carter on Dec. 6 took another troubling turn Thursday with the release of autopsy and toxicology reports from the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office. The reports show that two of the five bullets that struck Redus were lethal or potentially fatal.

Download the report here.

The entry and exit points – Carter shot Redus once in the back, and once in the left eye at a sharply downward angle – raise serious questions about Carter’s version of events after he pursued Redus north on Broadway in Alamo Heights to his off-campus apartment after allegedly witnessing reckless driving. Carter was turning into campus from a 2 a.m. food run to a nearby Whataburger when he said he spotted the speeding car strike a curb. Although he did not know the vehicle was driven by a UIW student, he turned on his overhead lights and pursued the driver.

The toxicology report showed that Redus was legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .155 and his blood contained a faint trace of marijuana.

A photo of Robert Cameron Redus posted to a memorial Facebook page in Redus' honor.

A photo of Robert Cameron Redus posted to a memorial Facebook page in Redus’ honor.

Carter shot Redus at close range after the UIW student resisted arrest and engaged him in a struggle and fight over the officer’s baton. The autopsy report provides details about each of the five shots from Carter’s weapon that struck Redus. One of the six shots Carter fired from his .40-caliber service weapon did not strike the victim.

[Read More: Two Senseless Shootings Shake San Antonio in This Season of Good Will]

Two of the shots, both rated lethal or potentially fatal by the coroner, raise serious doubts about Carter’s version that he shot Redus as the unarmed student charged him with an upraised arm and fist. The report does not attempt to identify the sequence of shots, but the two most lethal shots are inconsistent with Carter’s version of events.

“Gunshot #1″ entered Redus’ left eye socket at close enough range to leave stippling, or powder burns. It exited nine inches lower than its point of entry through the victim’s neck, suggesting Carter was above the victim and pointing his weapon downward.

“Gunshot #3,” which also showed some degree of stippling, shows that Carter shot Redus in the upper back. The bullet severed his spinal cord and then struck his heart. This shot also traveled downward from its point of entry. Both shots likely would have resulted in Redus’ death.

The other three shots were not rated lethal. “Gunshot #2″ hit Redus in the upper chest and injured his right lung. “Gunshot #4″ struck and shattered his left elbow. “Gunshot #5″ hit Redus in the right hip and exited his right buttock.

Redus was shot in the early morning hours Friday, Dec. 6. The autopsy was performed on Dec. 7. The toxicology report was made Jan. 9. Release of the reports came more than three months after the shooting. There has been no public statement by District Attorney Susan Reed and no information relating to grand jury consideration of the case.

Carter could face second degree murder charges if prosecutors decide he needlessly fired on Redus, causing his death. The grand jury could also decide not to charge Carter if it determines he genuinely felt endangered and acted in self-defense. Presumably, the circumstances surrounding the two potentially lethal shots that struck Redus from behind in the back and in the left eye will factor into the decision.

Cameron Redus. Courtesy of the Redus Family.

Cameron Redus. Courtesy of the Redus Family.

Redus, 23, was an honors student from a religiously conservative family in Baytown with no history of violence or trouble with the law. Other residents of the Treehouse Apartments, where he lived, reported hearing the confrontation between Redus and Carter. One witness heard Redus ask Carter, perhaps incredulously, if he was really going to shoot him. Then he did, five times at close range, resulting in Redus’ death before Alamo Heights police arrived at the scene. Carter, an itinerant officer who has held multiple law enforcement jobs – most of them for brief periods – remains on administrative leave.

A UIW administrator angered students at a March 5 campus public forum when he indicated Carter might return to work on the campus force in an administrative position, depending on the outcome of the investigation. Several students questioned Carter’s competency, citing his frequent job changes and his physical condition.

[Read More: UIW and its Students Struggle with an Unresolved Tragedy]

Carter appears to be obese in photographs taken in his time at UIW, and several students argued he was not capable of handling an encounter with Redus and preventing the situation from spinning out of control. Days after the forum, the Redus family – troubled by the direction of the case and the university’s position – released an open letter to UIW authorities.

UIW Vice President for Business and Finance Douglas B. Endsley addresses a full meeting room during an open forum hosted by the Student Government Association on March 5, 2014. Photo by Miriam Thomas.

UIW Vice President for Business and Finance Douglas B. Endsley addresses a full meeting room during an open forum hosted by the Student Government Association on March 5, 2014. Photo by Miriam Thomas.

The Redus family released a statement Thursday after the reports were released that addressed both the autopsy and toxicology report. That text follows:

Redus Family Response to the Release of Cameron Redus’s Autopsy and Toxicology

We would again like to express our appreciation for the love, support and interest in Cameron’s life and death. It’s difficult to express the comfort that we have found as a result of that ongoing kindness and concern.

We are devastated by information contained in the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Report. While the locations of the five shots that struck and killed Cameron were made public shortly after his slaying, the autopsy contained new details. We are stunned to learn that Cameron was shot in the back from a very close range. The report also shows that the shot to his eye was delivered at a downward angle, again from very close range. That knowledge coupled with information from the earlier police report indicating that Cameron died on his back with his legs underneath him has left us heartbroken and shaken to the core.

The information in the toxicology report indicates that Cameron made some poor choices on the night prior to his death, including consuming alcohol in excess. He apparently operated his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The Redus family does not condone his actions and is disappointed that Cameron made these choices. We are thankful that Cameron arrived safely at his apartment and legally and properly parked his vehicle without harming anyone. He had exited his vehicle and was walking to his home when the encounter began. He posed no risk to public safety risk at that point.

We are confident that had this encounter taken place on a public roadway and during a routine traffic stop that Cameron’s alleged response and the ultimate outcome of this event would have been different. Cameron’s family also agrees with the opinion expressed by law enforcement officials that the outcome would have been different had a backup officer been on the scene.

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.

We continue to wait on justice to be done and we maintain our faith and trust in God’s amazing love, of which many of you have been the agents.

Sincerely and lovingly,

Mickey and Valerie Redus and sons

 

Related Stories:

An Open Letter to UIW from the Redus Family

UIW and its Students Struggle with an Unresolved Tragedy

Two Senseless Shootings Shake San Antonio in This Season of Good Will




There are 19 comments

Add yours
  1. Page Graham via Facebook

    I think UIW President Louis Agnese should fly home from his sabbatical and address this situation personally. Campus police officers should be intelligent problem solvers, not just cops for hire. They’re dealing with a youthful population that is prone to making mistakes, and the police officers in question should take that into account…

  2. Karan Redus Cockrell

    Thank you for your continuing coverage of this story. Once again my brother and his family have displayed amazing eloquence and grace in the face of the most devastating loss. Cameron was an amazing young man and he and his family deserve justice.

    • Robert Rivard

      Dear Karen, I couldn’t help but notice what I am guessing is your maiden name. Your family has the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, and the non-violent grace of Jesus Christ. I have yet to meet them, but I do admire them. –RR

  3. John Showecker via Facebook

    I think Agnese should be fired. The sisters need to rethink things in a major way. Maybe it’s unrealistic to think they would, however. As someone who recently graduated, I know first hand business and money rules first. They try to pretend they are for higher ideals with “The Mission” and all that, but they aren’t. The campus food contractor Sodexo pays it’s employees terrible wages. I heard stories from cafeteria workers of some being homeless while working there. They make extensive use of adjuncts, which also pay terrible. Now they are employing campus police that show no mercy, supposedly a biblical principal. The fish rots from the head down and Agnese just cares about the UIW brand. Going D1 is more of a concern than Cameron. They need to really think deeply about the environment they are fostering. It’s not one of social justice, that’s for sure.

  4. Allen

    I went to school at UIW and lived there for a time. I feel like it could have been anyone that went to school there. I knew many people that made poor decisions while they were there and they are now graduated and going on with their lives. The officers I knew had a certain patience knowing how old the students were and only a few times did I notice a little steam being let off, but never causing harm. This officer was not ready for this kind of job, and the family deserves to ask any question they want about what happened.

  5. Scott A. Torres

    Wow. This new information is both saddening and shocking. Now that UIW knows this information, because they have allegedly been in the dark about these facts, they should make the choice of ending their relationship with Carter.

    In my opinion, Carter has proven to inadequately prepared for the duties of the job, he has embarrassed the university and it’s name, and he killed someone as close range for driving drunk. UIW needs to also take a look at all of their policies and procedures as well as the equipment the chose to use or not use.

    Thanks you for these thoughtful and thorough updates.

  6. Texabbott

    Why has Agneese not flown home to deal with this situation??? Evidently he’s dialing it in during his near retirement…
    Evidently one of his police officers murdering someone off campus during a traffic stop that a IWPD officer has no business even being involved with in the first place is not enough to bring him home from vacation!!!?!!?
    As an Incarnate Word Alum I am personally disgusted by the schools reaction to this tragedy – I will personally no longer be donating to Incarnate Word :(

    • Scott A. Torres

      President Agneese is not on Vacation. He is on sabbatical to spend time with his ill wife, rumors are that she doesn’t have much longer. However, I’m sure he could have come in. As far as a peace office making traffic stops in concerned, your issue is with that state which allows, if not requires, them too. UIW polices and procedures should limit this behavior, so in that respect you are right.

      While I feel that UIW’s response has left much to be desired, they are doing their best. You have to remember that they are finding out all of this information at the same time you and I are. How the respond going forward with this new information will determine the character of the administration. It is also important to note that the universities’ PR department is small, lacking resources, and, in my opinion, inexperienced. Which is ironic because many of their student and professors would have delt with these issues better.

      As far as donations are concerned, you are entitled to spend your money how you see fit, but keep in mind that the less money that they have the less they have to spend on quality faculty and staff. At best the value of your degree is diminished and at worst incidents such as this one are repeated. I would reserve judgment until we see how they react with this new information.

  7. Nicole Medrano-Escamilla via Facebook

    Wow..Denise Aguirre, Jennifer Marcha Allen I keep getting disappointed by Campus Police, Park Police & the San Antonio Police Department. What to do, what to do??

  8. Dansktex

    I want to congratulate you on having a much better article related to the autopsy than was in the Express-News. Your article is better written, includes far more details (such as the angles of the shots), and includes other pertinent information (such as the concern by students that Carter’s size would make it difficult for him to physically deal with a person in a fight). In my opinion, Carter at most should have followed the car to the parking lot and then left when he realized the young man was already home. Since the offence was one off campus, why did he need to try to have an encounter. Furthermore, NO police officer should have any excuse for shooting an unarmed person. Also, if a shot is made, it should only be to disable the person rather than all the bullets in the gun being shot until the person is dead. Carter went rogue. How can there be any question of it. Criminal charges should be brought against him. And if they aren’t, the family should file civil charges against him. Under NO circumstances should he be allowed to return to work at the university.

    • Robert Rivard

      Dansktx, I am tardy in thanking you for your kind words about our continuing coverage of a most senseless killing. Please watch the site for more stories in the coming days and weeks. –RR

  9. Lynn Garrison

    Thanks for the information. We didn’t get this kind of detail in the Express-News. After reading the above, I’m now of the opinion this police officer should be indicted. But……..we’ll see.

  10. Stephanie

    Thank you for your continued, accurate, well-written and compassionate coverage of Cam. My brother has known Cameron since fourth grade and graduated from BCA with him back in 2008. They would occasionally come out to my house in spring branch and borrow tubes to go float the Guadalupe River. Cam was always a joy to be around. When he talked to you, you had his full attention. He wanted to make sure you felt like he was hearing every word you said. It grieves me to think of such a beautiful soul and how his life was snuffed out in an instant. It also grieves me to read such hateful comments from people who didn’t even know him. I, like everyone else, am ignorant of what really happened that night…..other than Carter’s account and what the news outlets have been reporting. But I find it hard to believe, having known Cam personally, that Carter’s account is entirely accurate. And I think what I would ask of everyone who thinks that Cameron is ” a piece of trash” who “got what he deserved” because he “chose to disobey a police officer” is to take into consideration that this was a HUMAN LIFE. A precious creation of God the Father whom he loves very much. As is Cpl. Chris Carter. No one single life is created superior to another. I don’t hate Mr. Carter. And knowing Cameron’s family, it is hard to imagine them hating anyone either. They are grieving the loss of their SON. The hate needs to STOP. Hate for Cameron AND hate for Carter.

  11. David Harrison via Facebook

    Another case of a trigger happy cop with little to no training with a firearm. Properly trained people are taught to fire “until the threat is neutralized.”
    That means one shot in the lower leg on an extremely inebriated man.

    NOT 5 “wild” shots hitting him all over his body, including his f#cking BACK!
    (Which, by the way, severed his spine and lodged in his heart.)

    I’m a damn “civilian” and I know more about gun safety and protocol than these “supposed” professionals.

    You can’t give every dumbass 18 year old kid with a GED a firearm and expect good results.

    These “training programs” are ridiculous.

  12. Nancy

    Since Texans can legally carry concealed guns now why the surprise when law enforcement and security personnel shoot first when faced with any resistance?


Post a new comment