HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The parents of a Houston man killed by a Carter’s Country employee are speaking out for the first time, asking justice for their son, who was shot in the back while running out of the store.
“We want justice. That’s what we want,” said Angela Evans, the mother of the man killed. “He took the life of our son. My grandson’s father. We want justice.”
The family of Terry Evans, Jr. spoke out publicly for the first time to ABC13 on Monday. It is also the first time we have seen surveillance video of the incident, which contradicts initial reports of what happened on June 21, 2022.
The video shows Terry walking into Carter’s Country Store and heading to the cash register. He grabs something that appears to be money and walks toward the door. A woman employee runs toward him on the right, and then, a man runs after him while shooting.
The surveillance video on the outside of the building captures the moment Terry ran out, and then a bullet that pierced through his body from the back exits the front, hitting the glass door of the store. Terry then runs out with the employee following the store, still shooting.
“He turns his back to run out the door, and (the employee) shoots,” his mother said. “Not only one time, he shot him twice. And to me, he didn’t even think. To me, he was just wanting to kill someone.”
A cell phone video that’s part of a civil lawsuit then shows Evans, shot and bloody, lying on the pavement.
Surveillance video shows another store employee going outside to motion for the shooter to come back inside.
The family’s attorney, Jason Gibson, said nobody from the store called 911, but once the police did arrive, the initial story was misleading.
“In Texas, you’re only justified in using deadly force if you feel like you’re in fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury,” Gibson said. He points out initial police reports saying that Terry had a sharp object and that the employee who shot him feared for his life.
However, Gibson points out that the surveillance video shows Terry only having a Styrofoam cup. In addition, several employees who tested in video-recorded deposits said they never feared for their lives during the encounter.
“There were four workers there that day. Three of them who had access to guns did not shoot Mr. Evans. One did. Three people acted reasonably. One person did not,” Gibson said.
ABC13 showed the video to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Bishop James Dixon. He said shoplifting was clearly wrong and that employees should have called the police. However, it should not be a death sentence.
“With someone running out of the door, it would have just been easier to close the door, lock it and call the police,” Dixon said. “I definitely think the district attorney, from my perspective, I think from most other people’s perspective, should be filing charges against the person who fired those shots.”
District Attorney Kim Ogg’s Office would not comment on the case, citing the fact that it had not been presented to a grand jury. The shooter’s attorney would also not comment, and neither would a lawyer representing Carter’s Country.
The family acknowledges that Terry has a criminal history and mental health issues. But they point out that he was also a caring father to his three young sons.
“Sometimes they’re OK. Sometimes they’re not,” Exstacie Collins, the mother of the three boys, said. “They’ll come to me and say, ‘Mommy, I miss Daddy.’ I just console them and tell them it’s going to be OK and try my best to be there for them.”
“I can’t describe the pain of losing a son,” Terry Evans Sr. said through tears. “I say to myself, I would have taken the bullet because the pain is unbearable.”
For news updates, follow Miya Shay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.