Only on 13: Video shows employee shooting unarmed man in the back while running out of store

Miya Shay Image
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Video shows store worker shoot unarmed would-be shoplifter
Only ABC13 speaks with the family of a man who was shot to death last summer during what his loved ones call an unjust killing of an unarmed man with mental health issues.

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," Angela Evans, the mother of the man killed, said. "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 store employee following, 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 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 said 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 had a Styrofoam cup. In addition, several employees who testified in video-recorded depositions said they never feared for their lives during the encounter.

"There were four workers there that day. Three of them that have 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 is 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 just have 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 lawyers representing Carter's Country.

The family acknowledges that Terry has a criminal history and mental health issues. But they point out he was also a caring dad 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."

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