TEXAS CITY — Accounts differ about how Carlton Wayne “Chimmy” Smith, 20, came to be holding a handgun when police responding to a call about a crowd arrived at a notorious nightclub early Friday morning.

Police said Smith had been firing into the crowd leaving H.T.’s Lounge, 6204 FM 1765, as a Christmas bash was ending about 1:30 a.m. 

Some friends and relatives said Smith had taken the gun away from another person, who had been shooting into the air, and was holding it with no ill intent.

But police and witnesses agree Smith was holding the gun when the officers arrived.  

The club’s owner had called police because people were slow to leave and were lingering in the parking lot, Capt. Joe Stanton said.

Three officers arrived to find 100 or more people and a disturbance, Stanton said. Soon, they heard gunshots, Stanton said.

A six-year veteran patrol officer confronted Smith and warned him to drop the gun, police officials said. 

He turned, pointing the pistol at the officer, who fired, killing Smith, police said. Officials have not said how many shots the officer fired. 

The shooting led some people in the crowd to throw rocks and other objects at the police.

Authorities named neither Smith nor the officer. 

The Daily News confirmed Smith’s identity through both official and family sources. 

The newspaper also confirmed through those sources that the officer was white. 

That fact had community leaders working Friday to head off any drift toward the type of violent reactions that have followed shootings by white officers of African-Americans elsewhere recently. Eyewitnesses interviewed by both police investigators and the newspaper said that as Smith left the club he got into an altercation with some other men. 

As those men ganged up on Smith, a woman who was with him fired shots into the air.

Some witnesses said Smith was simply holding the weapon, but several people said they told investigators Smith grabbed the gun and fired two more rounds before police shot him. 

Harris T. Aldridge, who owns H.T.’s, said video surveillance of the incident supports the police department’s account of what happened. He said two women got into a fight inside his club and they were escorted outside.

He said the video showed one of the women firing a gun into the air. Soon after a man he said was Smith, grabbed the handgun.

“The man shot and you see (the) officer was coming up,” Aldridge said. “When he turned he had the gun still pointed. What can you say?”

“I would have probably done the same thing (if) I was the officer.”

Aldridge said the video of the incident was turned over to police.

Under Texas City Police Department policy, the officer was on modified duty until the shooting investigation is complete, officials said. 

Police Chief Robert Burby said this was the first fatal shooting by an officer in his department since he became chief 10 1/2 years ago.

The public integrity unit of the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, with help of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, is leading the investigation into the shooting.

During a news conference Friday, Burby pledged the investigation would be transparent.

Burby would not say Friday what kind of handgun investigators had found at the scene. 

Sheriff Henry Trochesset said an autopsy had not been conducted Friday, but might be conducted today. 

The autopsy should determine where and how many times Smith was shot and whether all the bullets were of the same caliber, Trochesset said. 

Sheriff’s officials said a woman who was at the scene of the shooting was arrested. 

Erica Renea Hill, 24, of Texas City was charged with resisting arrest and was questioned about the shooting, sheriff’s officials said.

She was released on $7,500 bond Friday afternoon, sheriff’s officials said.

Trochesset said his office was reviewing video recordings of the incident. He said he encouraged anyone with information or video footage to contact the sheriff’s office. 

Trochesset said he would coordinate with the district attorney’s office and the Texas City Police Department to release such recordings. 

“We are going to have to go to the grand jury with this regardless,” Trochesset said. 

Burby said he shared in the Smith family’s grief.

“We got a family who just lost a loved one, period,” Burby said. “We have an officer who had to fire his service weapon and he is affected. We all are affected.”

Police department officials did not offer how the officer may be handling the situation. Attempts to contact officials with the Texas City Municipal Police Association, the union that represents Texas City’s officer, were unsuccessful.

Several of the department’s officers though went to the social media sites to post messages of support for the officer involved. Many posted a photo featuring the Texas City Police Department seal with the world “I support” above in a show of unity.

Meanwhile the club reopened for business Friday night. 

Burby said the department had reached out to Smith’s family. He said he was also speaking with members of the community, such as local ministers, and was asking for people to call in with any information about the incident.

“This is going to be a thorough and very methodical investigation,” Burby said. “We are trying to do the very best we can to ensure transparency.”  

Burby added that he and his department have tried to work with community members for years.

“I have been meeting with the pastors in the West end of Texas City for almost two years,” Burby said. “We know one another. We hear different things. We work together, establish dialogue.”

 


Contact Mainland Editor TJ Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tj.aulds@galvnews.com


Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or chris.gonzalez@galvnews.com


Contact reporter Shannon Daughtry at 409-683-5337 or shannon.daughtry@galvnews.com.

 

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(30) comments

Mark Johnson

A good way to save the taxpayers the court cost! Keep up the good work.

wayne davenport

how does one no if this is good work when all of the evidence has not been collected, and how does one sustain a wound to the back pointing a weapon at someone?

Carlos Ponce

"......how does one sustain a wound to the back pointing a weapon at someone?" An "exit wound" is possible.
Definition: exit wound
Forensic pathology The “goodbye” lesion that a bullet or other projectile causes when leaving the body; Exit Wounds are often larger than the entrance wound, due to tumbling and deformation of the bullet.
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/exit+wound

George Croix

"After the shooting, people started throwing rocks and other items at the police..."

There it is.....

Mike Meador

TC used to be a great place to live.

Carlos Ponce

Thank you Texas City Police for defending the lives of Texans.
My condolences to the family of Carlton Smith. It is difficult to lose a loved one especially at Christmas and at so young an age.

Jeff Smith

Our prayers to the family of the police officer and his family who must live with this tragedy forced by Mr. Smith, and to the Smith family who will never fully understand while he chose to start shooting and then aim to shoot a police officer.

Richard Worth

Dear morons,

If you don't want police protection, put a sign in front of your house or business stating such.

Problem solved.

Dwight Strain

One sustains a gunshot wound to the back from being a dummy out there shooting at people when there is a cop right there watching the whole thing

Dwight Strain

Guy was just shooting, after cop confronts shooter, cop has a split second to decide if dummy is gonna shoot at him or put his gun down and give up.. cop is trying to go home on Christmas day. Dummy shooter out there shooting at people, being dumb on Christmas day..

Charles Douglas

Well sir, I'm going to try one more time! I should just be quiet, but I feel it is my duty to put the right information out there in a quality effort trying to help folks. I have posted my ...do(s) and don't list several times concerning the correct actions to take when dealing with the police, and NOBODY SEEMS TO BE LISTENING! [angry]
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So,....."Old Plow-boy" gonna try one more time.
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Forget about what all these people are arguing about on CNN ....and other places!
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1) Do pull over asap and as safe as possible when an officer throw his lights on you.

2) Do stay in your vehicle, with BOTH hands on the top of the steering wheel, in plain sight!

3) Do speak plainly and respectfully when conversing with the officer!


1) Don't ever try to out-drive, or to outrun the police in an effort to evade being stopped.

2) Don't confront an officer rudely, while using profanity, nor .....make any quick movements not asked for by the officer. ( move s-l-o-w and deliberately. )

3) Don't ever tell an officer WHAT you are not going to let him/her do, or WHAT YOU are not going to do yourself, after being asked to comply,......that is resisting!

4) Don't ever try to "LEARN" the officer some manners, or try to educate him/her on the American CONSTITUTION ....BILL OF RIGHTS, TEXAS PENAL CODE, OR THE TEXAS TRANSPORTATION CODE, especially on the side of a dark street, road, or highway! ( I had that happen to me once ........)
********************************************************************************************
5) Don't ever hesitate to drop a weapon if an officer SCREAMS at you to drop it! They won't ask more than 2 times,....you are blessed if he asks 3 times! The reason for this,.. and many ordinary taxpayers are NOT aware of this:
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It has been proven, and I personally have participated in training demonstrations proving that a "PERP" or "SUSPECT" holding a weapon pointed at the ground, while an officer has his/her weapon pointed directly at the suspect, can raise his weapon and get a couple shots off .....possibly KILLING that officer before that officer can put his/her finger on the trigger or pull the trigger of his/her weapon,... shooting at the suspect! So, an officer is not going to BEG and PLEAD for a weapon to be dropped! ( A rookie might but not one who wants to go home after his/her shift. )

6) Don't even DREAM about pointing a weapon at a police officer,...it doesn't make three "DAMS" if it is a toy, because that officer will shoot you straight-up dead, and worry about what society says about it later! Please remember this,...WHEN SHOTS ARE FIRED,...POLICE OFFICERS ARE ON THE WAY! When a building catches on fire, FIREMEN ARE ON THE WAY! This is what they do, it is their job! We are bless to have them. Share this with anybody you might have "THAT TALK" with! It just might save lives. Amen!
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Jack Cross

JBgood once again you speak the common sense.. I am not trying to take sides in this national issue and there is a lot of discussion about the need to have a conversation. Lost in this, especially by the mayor of NY. The conversation
with your kids should go like this:
1.Obey the Police
2. Don't resist arrest
3. Don't attack police.
4. Don't honor the fallen by destroying someone eles's property
5. Even if the police may be wrong, you are still alive
6. If you do all this and you still think you are right, you can fight another day

Andy Aycoth

Jbgood, I think my 90 year old grandpa would be dead according to your protocol !

Charles Douglas

I'll bite, go on and elaborate as to why you think that.

Charles Douglas

Well Alvinbr62, I'll bite. Tell me why you say that.

Andy Aycoth

Your first 1,2&3 . Picture a 90 year old complying .

Andy Aycoth

If my grandpa pulled a gun thou, shoot his ass !

Charles Douglas

Alvinbr62, here are my first 1,2,&3 suggested actions.
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1) Do pull over asap and as safe as possible when an officer throw his lights on you.

2) Do stay in your vehicle, with BOTH hands on the top of the steering wheel, in plain sight!

3) Do speak plainly and respectfully when conversing with the officer!

Explanations:
1) I don't think one will get SHOT for not pulling over asap. You might get a citation for failure to stop,.....it just depends on the officer's discretion and the applicable laws at his disposal concerning the forbidden conduct. Especially if unsafe acts in traffic occurs. ( Lets not make police officers out of neurotic, unstable morons out there. These people are doing their jobs. )
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The only two citations I've ever received in my life I got from LMPD years ago, and I deserved both of them.

2) Failure to comply with #2 is a very dangerous thing for a 14 year old or a 90 year old alike. Sudden movements of a suspect in a vehicle reaching into a glove compartment or in the back seat of a vehicle while an officer is in the process of stopping him or question him is not advised by me. ( The officer don't know what you are reaching for. ) There is no age restriction to this, this goes for anybody.

3) Again, I don't think an officer will SHOOT you for running your mouth or cussing! I do think depending on the situation, one could be issued a citation, or even delayed for a long period of time for shooting off their mouth when they might have just got a warning, then allowed to proceed on their way! That is where I was going with this.

Andy Aycoth

Think it is funny, no white or black conversation here .

Don Ciaccio

Since the crowd threw rocks at the officers responding to a man firing at patrons coming out of the bar, the logical thing is simply to not respond to calls from that area. Let the people who are in danger throw rocks at the person threatening them.

J. Shaffer

What kind of stupid response is that?

All the people who live in houses in that area.... they are not throwing rocks.

Do they not deserve protection any longer?

The business owners... again, not out throwing rocks, but you would leave them to fend for themselves?

In EVERY neighborhood, rich or poor, there are bad neighbors. While they may be more vocal or more visible than the others, they are not the sole representatives of a block of streets.

Eric Bruss

Great article, very thorough and informing. Thumbs up TJ.

George Croix

Looks to me at this point in all of it that the bar owner is a stand up guy.
And, in what has to be the rarest of rare events for me to say a positive word about, I'd say that Rev. J.E. Daniels has also done the right and responsible thing.
Good, is good.....

Charles Douglas

I'm right there with you gecroix, Reverend Daniels is doing a hellava job out there now, working with the community and authorities in efforts to preserve more lives and to prevent any more casualties or destructions which could happen from this thing! The devil never misses any opportunities to divide, disrupt, steal, kill or destroy!
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We need calm, and right thinking out there to curtail or cutoff what the enemy probably, even now is cooking up! I say GOD BLESS THE MAN! We're not talking about what he said or did yesterday, the point is what is he doing now! I'm not proud of some things in my past. That's why I don't throw many stones,....I try to keep them to a small minimum.

George Croix

Actually knowing about leadership and how to do it also requires that it be recognized in others when it happens, personal opinions about anything else aside.
it's all part of that little thing called credibility, an essential ingredient to getting anybody to follow where you're leading, and when....
Hope you had a nice Christmas and lots of cold Diet Coke, Jbg....

Carlos Ponce

The lounge lies at the edge of a "food desert" but alcohol is readily available. Amazing! Is TABC aware that underage people visit the establishment?
http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas/go-to-the-atlas.aspx

Michael Perrin

Sounds like the alcohol beverage commission from the state needs to look into underage drinking and overserving those of age.

Lovely way to spend Christmas - with a bunch of disorderly, violent, drunks.

Sounds like the whole crowd needed to be put on a bus to county.

byebyenwo

I'm white and I truly believe that these skin head cops are masonic motivated evil satan worshiping scum of the earth and the tables should be turned like Jesus Christ did 2000 years ago!!! Let's make a whip of cords and drive these demons out of their sanctuary!!!

George Croix

What would you tell them face to face, versus hiding out on the internet......?

Andy Aycoth

Don't believe you!
Dude, no way you are white.


byebyenwo: I'm white and I truly believe that these skin head cops are masonic motivated evil satan worshiping scum of the earth and the tables should be turned like Jesus Christ

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