“Oh, you’re gonna shoot me,” were allegedly the last words, delivered “like sarcastic almost,” of 23-year-old San Antonio honor student Robert Cameron Redus before Alamo Heights police officer Cpl. Christopher Carter fatally shot him.
Reports indicate that the campus police officer pulled the student over at around 2 a.m. Friday morning in the parking lot of the Treehouse Apartment complex near the University of the Incarnate Word for, according to Carter, speeding and driving erratically.
Redus’ classmates said that the soon-to-graduate communication arts major had been out celebrating the end of the semester with friends.
One witness at the scene of the fatal incident said that the officer never gave Redus the sort of commands that would usually precede use of deadly force.
“I didn’t hear him say anything like, ‘Get down on your hands and knees,’ you know? I didn’t hear him say anything. He just started shooting,” an unidentified resident of the apartment complex said.
“He emptied the gun on him,” he continued. “Boom, boom, boom. Six shots — five or six.”
Another witness, 22-year-old Mohammad Haidarasl, said he did hear the officer give the student orders as well as what he claims were Redus’ chilling last words. Haidarasl is reportedly the deceased man’s upstairs neighbor at the apartment complex.
Haidarasl reported hearing the customary, “stop resisting, stop resisting,” followed by “I’m going to shoot.”
That, the resident said, is what led to Redus’ sarcastic question.
“I heard (a man) say, ‘Oh, you’re gonna shoot me?’ like sarcastic almost,” he said.
Seconds later, Haidarasl told reporters, he heard four to six gunshots.
A statement released by the UIW campus police following the Redus’ death sought to clear up questions about why a campus police officer was even pursuing the student off campus.
“UIW police officers are licensed and trained as certified peace officers by the State of Texas. UIW currently has a total of nine locations spread throughout San Antonio, in addition to two elementary schools that are part of the Brainpower Connection. It is routine for UIW officers to patrol all of these locations,” the statement says.
The statement said that Carter, who “has been at UIW for several years” and “has an extensive law-enforcement background,” is currently on paid administrated leave pending investigation.
But the San Antonio Express-News has presented facts that raise serious questions about Carter’s background in law enforcement:
Over the course of Carter’s eight-year law career in Texas, he has held nine jobs at eight agencies, including two stints at the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, files kept by the state agency for licensing peace officers show.
He rarely was at an agency more than a year and his shortest job was for seven months as a reserve officer for the San Antonio Municipal Court Marshals Division. So far, the two years and seven months he’s spent at UIW is the longest stretch of employment, the files show.
Police have not indicated whether the student had a weapon of any kind or in what manner the officer felt Redus was threatening his well-being, telling local media only that an investigation is underway when asked if the student may have tried to grab the officer’s weapon. The student’s family and friends, however, have told local media that it would be uncharacteristic of the young man to behave violently.
“He’s not an aggressive person at all,” Sarah Davis, 20, told KTRK, “so the story just doesn’t really make sense to any of us.”
Whether a less-than-lethal approach was warranted may never be revealed, but UIW representatives told reporters that none of its officers carry Tasers.