UIW: Student grabbed officer's baton before fatal shooting

Cameron Redus, 23, shot to death following traffic stop, struggle with UIW officer

Cameron Redus, 23, grabbed the baton of a University of the Incarnate Word police officer during a struggle that resulted in Redus' death, the university announced in a statement released Monday.

According to the statement, Redus (pictured) was shot to death by the officer early Friday morning after the officer, identified as Cpl. Chris Carter, attempted to pull Redus over. Redus was speeding and driving erratically on Broadway near the front of the university's campus, the university says.

Alamo Heights police Chief Richard Pruitt said Carter told investigators Redus’ Ford Ranger sped by him 2 a.m. Friday in the construction zone at Hildebrand and Broadway, then hit a curb on the right that caused Redus to swerve into oncoming lanes.

The chief said Carter then initiated the traffic stop, following Redus, who turned into the Treehouse Apartments, where he lived in the 100 block of Grandview Place off Broadway.

In its statement, the university said Carter radioed for assistance and during his wait, he attempted to restrain Redus, who "repeatedly resisted."

The university’s statement said the officer’s new vehicle did not have its newly installed forward-looking dash cam and that the glue had not set due to the cold weather.

During a Monday afternoon news conference, Pruitt said it would not have mattered if he had the dash cam because Carter’s vehicle was facing away from the confrontation.

But the chief said other on-board audio and video was telling.

Pruitt said, “Officer Carter instructed Redus 14 times to place his hands behind his back and informed him three times he was under arrest, and to stop resisting 56 times.”

The chief confirmed Redus was able to take Carter's baton and began hitting him his arm and head, until he was able to retrieve it, but the struggle continued.

Pruitt said Carter then drew his service revolver, a .40-caliber semi-automatic, and warned Redus four times, “Stop or I’ll shoot.”

He said Carter described how Redus then charged at him with his arms raised as if he was about to strike him.

“That’s when he fired the weapon six times, striking Redus five times,” Pruitt said.

The chief said not only do they have audio recordings, they also have an apartment resident who upon hearing the commotion, came downstairs.

“He actually witnessed a violent struggle between Officer Carter and Robert Redus,” Pruitt said.

He said when the witness went back upstairs to call 911, he heard the fatal shots.

Pruitt said from beginning to end, the incident lasted about six minutes.

The university statement said, “There is no evidence that the officer had any knowledge of his student status or his place of residence."

The chief said along with the Texas Rangers, the District Attorney’s Office is already involved, preparing to take the case before the grand jury.

When asked if, given what he now knows, was deadly force justified?

“I want to say at this point, there are still things we need to examine and I couldn’t make that statement today,” Pruitt said in response.

However, Pruitt said the incident “may have had a different outcome” had his officers been there.

UIW reported there had been a mix up when the officer’s call initially came in, putting the location within San Antonio city limits, delaying the response by Alamo Heights PD.

The chief said it may take two more weeks to complete the investigation. Pruitt also said they are planning to release the audio tapes of the struggle.

Yet three UIW students who were at the news conference said the official version did not make sense to them, pointing out the officer was “twice as big” as Redus, so they questioned how was he able to grab the baton.

Miriam Thomas, who knew Redus, said he was not an aggressive person at all.

“Even if he was under the influence, I don’t think Cameron would ever respond in that kind of manner. He was just not that type of person,” Thomas said.

Jonathan Guajardo, UIW student government president, also said, “Cameron was one of my really close friends. I’ll speak for him before I speak for the university.”

Funeral arrangements for Redus are as follows: Visitation is Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; funeral is Thursday at 2 p.m. at Navarre Funeral Home on Rollingbrook Drive in Baytown.

A memorial fund has been set up in Redus' honor. Click here to make a donation.

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