Charges against Houston college shooting suspect dropped

Carlton Berry was misidentified as shooter at Lone Star College

Published On: Jan 28 2013 10:57:23 AM CST
Carlton Berry

Charges filed against the first man arrested in the shooting at a college in Houston have been dropped, prosecutors said.

Carlton Berry, 22, had been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. On Monday, prosecutors said those charges had been dropped.

A second man, the accused gunman, Trey Foster, 22, is facing two counts of aggravated assault. He was arrested in Plano on Friday. Community activist Quanell X said Foster told him that Berry was not involved in the shooting. Trey Foster

Harris County sheriff's deputies said the shooting happened outside the library at Lone Star College's North Harris campus at noon Tuesday.

According to court records, Jody Neal, 25, bumped into Foster and they got into an argument. They parted ways, but 30 minutes later Foster, who was with Carlton Berry, 22, saw Neal again and they got into another argument, officials said. Berry told investigators that Foster then fired shots at Neal.

When asked why he got into a fight with Neal, Foster said, "Someone bumped me." He also told reporters that he knew Berry.

"What we had here was idiocy, stupidity," Sheriff Adrian Garcia said. "We had individuals who did not care about putting other people in harm's way. It was a ridiculous, adolescent confrontation that occurred."

At least 10 shots were fired, according to Garcia.

Quanell X said he spoke to Foster after his arrest. He said Foster told him that he didn't want to shoot anybody, but Neal threw a punch at him and he opened fire to defend himself.

"He just wanted me to say he's not some monster," Quanell X said. "He was not going to school looking for a confrontation, not looking for trouble, but he had his weapon on him because he had been shot before."

"He has indicated that he always carries a gun," Garcia said.

Foster has a criminal history. He was convicted of possession of a prohibited weapon. At the time of his arrest, he was also wanted on an evading arrest charge. He was arrested last year and posted bond, but he never went back to court.

"Trey was on my bond for a couple months for resisting arrest," said Linda Traylor of Country Bonding. "I just think he's a kid that mixed up with the wrong crowd."

Quanell X said Foster told him that he had never met Neal before. Sources told KPRC-TV that Foster and Neal have police-documented affiliations with the Bloods gang.

Jody Neal Neal suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen and leg. According to court records, Neal originally identified Berry as his shooter but later said he made a mistake and that Foster pulled the trigger.

A maintenance man, Bobby Cliburn, was nearby when the shooting occurred and was wounded in the leg. He was released from a hospital on Wednesday. According to Quanell X, Foster said he was sorry that Cliburn was wounded.

Berry was also shot. He was treated and booked into the Harris County Jail.

Quanell X said Foster told him that Berry did not fire any shots and that Berry did not know he had a gun.

"It's just heartache and pain," said Sharonda Felix, Berry's mother. "I want justice. My son is innocent and I want him released."

Berry has a criminal past, including arrests in 2011 and 2012 for possession of marijuana. He was also arrested for a theft charge in 2009. Foster also has a criminal history that includes charges of resisting arrest and possession of a prohibited weapon.