Funeral held for young man shot and killed by officer in Texas City

TEXAS CITY, TX (KTRK) -- Friends and family of Carlton Smith filed into a Texas City church Saturday to pay their final respects to the 20-year-old whose life they say was cut short.

"He was a good classmate, a good friend," said Smith's friend, Dominique Willis. "He loved everybody. He wasn't a bad person. He was good."

"It's kind of like a shock right now. Lives are touched. Lives are hurt," said Minister Richard Soloman.

Investigators say they saw Smith fire several shots toward HT's Lounge around 1:15 the morning after Christmas. They say after police told him to put the gun down, he pointed the gun at them.

Officer Christopher Ham shot him five times. Witnesses say Smith was defending himself from a group of guys that had just jumped him.

"At this point, the focus is on locating witnesses who were out there at the scene that night," said Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady. "There were a lot of people in the parking lot nd we believe there are a lot of people who saw what happened."

Smith's family, along with activist Quannel X, went to the police department Sunday, demanding to see the surveillance video, and a heated confrontation with police supporters ensued.

Many of the people we spoke with outside the funeral say they want to make it very clear that they're not against the police. They say they don't believe all the facts about that night are out, and they want to know everything there is to know about that fatal encounter between Carlton Smith and Officer Ham that brought them together Saturday at Barbour's Chapel Baptist Church.

"We just want to get the facts before we begin to speak, as I would say, ignorantly," said Reverend Andrew W. Berry, II. "We want to speak with an educated kind of mindset. So really much conversation about the investigation has really been limited."

Reverend Berry says their focus has been on healing for Smith's family and the community.

The Galveston County Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office are leading the investigation. District Attorney Roady says he urges anyone who was at HT's Lounge that night who has information about the shooting to contact the Sheriff's Office, especially if a detective has tried to reach them. null
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