Deputy constable recovering after Atascocita shootout speaks

Harris County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Christopher Gaines speaks during a news conference April 23, 2018 near Houston.
Harris County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Christopher Gaines speaks during a news conference April 23, 2018 near Houston. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – A Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constable who is recovering after being wounded during a shootout at an Atascocita home last week spoke to the media Monday.

Christopher Gaines was shot several times in the legs after responding to a call Tuesday about a man trying to kill himself, investigators said.

“I don’t know if he was prescribed Valium, but the call slip said that he was on Valium and that he has been drinking whiskey ... so pretty bad combination for someone’s mental state,” Gaines said during the press conference.

After deputies had spent 20 minutes of trying to make contact, the man, identified as Wesley Smith, came outside with a shotgun and began firing at deputies, investigators said. Six deputies returned fire, wounding Smith, investigators said.

Gaines told reporters his wife could hear the shooting from their Atascocita home.

“She heard the shots and she texted me, 'Are you OK?' I wanna say I had like five to six text messages. Obviously, I didn’t respond.”

Gaines underwent surgery and spent more than a day in the hospital. He returned home Thursday. Gaines told reporters eight pellets entered his body, reaching his thigh and genital area.

“With the way the pellets are close to my femoral artery you just twisting that shotgun shell could have been the difference of me being alive or dead,” he said.

The Harris County deputy of two years said he kept thinking he had to survive to make it home to his wife and 4-year-old daughter.

“She is at the perfect age for when this could have happened because she’s not at the point where she is really worried or really understanding something really bad happened to daddy,” Gaines said about his daughter, who was present.

He said his daughter has been helping to nurse him back to health, even making sure he takes his medicine.

Gaines said he has one more surgery scheduled to remove remaining pellets. He said doctors estimate it will take six to eight weeks for him to recover.

He told reporters he is eager to return to work and has no fears about doing so.

“I can’t have reservations with God with me,” he said.

Smith, who is expected to recover, was charged with four counts of aggravated assault on a public servant.

About the Authors:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.