One dead after officer-involved shooting outside Texas City nightclub

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter, Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter, Phillip Mena

TEXAS CITY, Texas - Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby declined Friday to identify a man who was shot and killed by one of his officers overnight.

But friends, family and some clubgoers said Friday afternoon that Carlton Smith Jr., 20, of Texas City was the man shot and killed about 1:20 a.m. Friday in the parking lot of a Texas City nightclub.

"They haven't told us anything. But we know from people who were there," Kathey Kelly, who identified herself as Smith's mother, said.

HT's Lounge at 6204 Farm to Market Road 1765 in Texas City was hosting an event called "Hood Night" on Christmas.

A fight between two women led to gunfire around closing time, according to the club's owner.

"He definitely made a move with that gun toward that cop?" reporter, Joel Eisenbaum, asked.

"Yeah, he did," club owner Harris Aldridge said. "He did."

Aldridge said he reviewed surveillance video that showed Smith firing a gun into a crowd of patrons outside the club, and then turning the gun toward a police officer.

Aldridge said he gave the only copy of the video to investigators.

Smith's family is not convinced by that version of events.

"Then why was he shot in the back? That's what a witness said," Quintina Block, Smith's aunt, said.

Smith's family tells Local 2 that Carlton just graduated from LaMarque High School in 2013. He also leaves behind a 4-year-old son.

Police would not reveal Friday where on his body Smith was shot or how many times he was shot.

Burby also would not confirm reports of rocks and bottles being thrown at officers at the scene following the shooting.

He instead focused on the shooting itself, and said that while it is still under investigation he believed the following to be facts of the case.

"The decedent was observed in front parking lot firing a hand gun at patrons, and the decedent then pointed a handgun at the officer," Burby said.

The officer involved in the incident has been identified as Christopher Ham. He has been with the Texas City Police Department for four years.

The Galveston County Sheriff's Office and Galveston County District Attorney's Office are investigating the incident.

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