LUBBOCK, Texas - Video of the deadly shooting of an apparently unarmed man outside a home in West Texas, stemming from a custody dispute, has gone viral. The shooter claims he fired in self-defense, sparking a debate about our state’s gun laws.
No charges have been filed in the Lubbock shooting death of 54-year-old Chad Read by his ex-wife’s boyfriend back on November 5th, but the video has certainly raised some eyebrows.
FOX 7 Austin has chosen to edit out some graphic parts of it, you may still find it disturbing.
The shooting stemmed from a child custody argument between Read and his ex, Christina, after Read showed up at her house to pick up their son. That’s when Christina’s boyfriend, Kyle Carruth, went inside their home and came back out with his gun. Read then confronted him.
The two men continued shouting, Carruth fired a shot at the ground, then Read tried unsuccessfully to grab the gun. Carruth, after getting a few yards away, then shot Read twice, leaving him unresponsive on the ground.
The video goes on to show Carruth yelling at Read’s wife, Jennifer, who had filmed the entire encounter from her vehicle.
Jennifer Read’s lawyer released the video publicly last week, saying it speaks for itself that Carruth murdered Read.
However, Carruth’s lawyer argues he fired in self-defense, saying the work of Lubbock Police shows this to be a "justified homicide", and citing the Castle Doctrine, which allows the reasonable use of deadly force on intruders.
Sam Bassett, a criminal defense attorney in Austin, says this case is fairly complicated.
"Texas does have a self-defense statute that's fairly pro-self-defense. There's no duty to retreat in a situation where you're defending your habitation," said Bassett. "So there's a lot of layers to this because you have habitation issues, you have the tempers, you have the size of the people involved."
However, Bassett does point out that Christina Bassett was not being threatened physically.
"There was no verbal provocation of deadly force. And then he did leave for some period of time and then came back into the situation with the firearm. And the close contact between the two of them certainly made it much more complicated and much more difficult to analyze," said Bassett.
Bassett, who is not connected with this case, says the families’ history with each other will likely come into play, adding it’s a "coin flip" whether Carruth will even be prosecuted. If it does go to trial, he points out prosecutors will have the burden of proving this was not self-defense.
Meanwhile, Chad Read’s widow, Jennifer, has filed a petition seeking custody of Read’s children from their mother, Christina.
No arrests have been made, but the shooting remains under investigation by Lubbock Police.
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