A Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a paraplegic man following a chase along I-45 early Tuesday, leaving behind devastated family members grappling to come to terms with their loss.
"I’m going through a lot right now. It’s very, very tough," said the suspect’s 17-year-old son, Braxton Carnes.
Carnes said his father, 44-year-old Bryan Carnes, lost his legs in a motorcycle accident nearly five years ago.
Braxton Carnes was only 12 years old at the time. He said seeing his father crippled was hard enough. Now, Braxton and his two brothers are forced to live without their dad.
"I don’t believe what was done was right," he said.
Willis police officers were trying to stop Carnes in his red pickup truck for running a red light in the area of FM 1097 and I- 45 around 1 a.m.
Deputies said he wouldn’t stop, and that started a chase. Four other agencies also tried to catch Carnes by setting up spikes on road. During the chase, deputies said he was throwing what looked like drugs out of the window. Braxton says otherwise.
"I don’t believe, I know my dad," he said.
Cops said Carnes tried to use his wheelchair as a weapon during the chase by pressing a button.
He tried to make it fly out of the trunk and into the path of the officers.
Lt. Dan Norris from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department said Carnes’ tactic didn’t work.
"He was also able to lift the wheelchair boom with a wheelchair attached to it, outside the car, at point lowering it to the ground and lowering it off the road," Lt. Norris said.
The chase lasted several minutes and it finally ended when the spikes flattened his tires. Carnes then got out of the car and started yelling.
"He was yelling, ‘Shoot me, shoot me. I have a gun,’ He did reach down below to retrieve something," said Lt. Norris.
What that "something" was remains a mystery. The deputy felt threatened, pulled out his gun and fired at least three rounds—killing Carnes.
"He was a great person. He was a sweet man, genuine soul. He has this personality that comes off that is great," Braxton Carnes said, adding that his last memory of his father was on Easter.
Carnes was involved in a fatal crash with a motorcycle in Montgomery County last year, but no charges were filed.
At the time of his death, Carnes was just a few days shy of being a grandfather once again.
This case remains under investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Rangers.
The police officer has been placed on administrative leave, as a standard protocol.