- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 27, 2014

Police shot and killed an armed black man in Texas City Friday night after the man allegedly fired shots into a crowd and then pointed his gun at an officer, prompting bystanders to throw bottles and rocks at police.

The manager of a local nightclub, HT’s Lounge, called police to report a fight that had broken out inside during the club’s “hood nite,” Houston’s NBC affiliate reported Friday.

When police arrived around 1:20 a.m., the fight had spilled outside with hundreds of patrons scrambling in the parkway as the man, 20-year-old Carlton Smith, allegedly fired shots at the direction of patrons leaving the club.

Police reportedly gave Mr. Smith a verbal warning, but after pointing his weapon at an officer police shot him down, Texas City Police Chief Robert Burby told reporters.

Club owner Harris Aldridge said he reviewed video footage of the incident that did show Mr. Smith making a move toward the officer with a gun.

But some witnesses say that police shot Mr. Smith from behind without warning and that, while Mr. Smith was holding a gun, he didn’t fire any shots and that another woman had been firing shots into the air to break up the fighting, a local ABC affiliate reported.

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Shortly after the incident the crowd threw bottles and rocks at police,  the Houston news station reported. A Texas City PD spokesperson said there were no reported injuries.

Mr. Smith’s family said he was not a violent person and have doubts about the police account of the incident.

“Don’t always assume the police are right, because they’re not,” one family member told NBC reporters.

The officer who shot Mr. Smith was placed on modified duty following the incident, the NBC affiliate reported.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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