EMC native shot by HPD officer, hundreds attend funeral

Hundreds turned out for the funeral of a Montgomery County native who died after he was shot during an altercation with a Houston Police officer at a Kingwood apartment complex.

Click the arrow to view on-scene video, interviews from John Barnes’ funeral on Thursday

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EMC native shot by HPD officer working security

Houston Police Department Press Release – Monday, Aug. 3, 2009

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT OF HPD OFFICER AT 2139 LAKE HILLS DRIVE

A suspect was fatally shot following the aggravated assault of an off-duty Houston police officer by the suspect at 2139 Lake Hills Drive about 10:15 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 2).

The male suspect suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity is pending verification by the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Officer R. G. Gardiner, who discharged his duty weapon, was sworn in as an officer in June 2002. Officer Gardiner is assigned to the Northeast Patrol Division and was not injured in this incident.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant O. L. Chandler and Officer J. R. Johnston reported:

Officer Gardiner was working an approved extra job at the Woodland Hills Village Apartments at 2139 Lake Hills Drive when he saw the suspect and a female having an argument. Officer Gardiner approached the suspect and attempted to take him into custody. The suspect ignored Officer Gardner’s commands and both men then got into a struggle. The suspect disarmed Officer Gardiner of his Conducted Energy Device (CED) and pointed it at him in a threatening manner. Officer Gardiner, fearing for his safety, discharged his duty weapon several times and struck the suspect, who died at the scene.

As is customary in officer-involved shootings occurring in the city limits, this case is being investigated by the HPD Homicide and Internal Affairs Divisions, as well as the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

By Jamie Nash

August 3, 2009

HARRIS COUNTY- John Barnes, 38, a wrecker driver originally from East Montgomery County and living in Kingwood died around 10 p.m. Saturday night after police say an altercation with a woman led to a confrontation between him and a Houston Police officer.

HPD spokesman Victor Senties said the incident occurred when officer R. Gardner was working an extra job as a security officer at the Woodland Hills Village Apartment Homes in the 2000 block of Lake Hills in Kingwood. Gardner and Barnes were both residents, according to Senties.

Senties said officer Gardner, who was in uniform, was nearing the end of his shift and was completing his rounds in the complex when he heard what sounded like a domestic altercation between Barnes and a woman.

The officer approached, Senties said, and twice commanded Barnes to come to him. Barnes ignored the officer, he said, which escalated the situation to a physical confrontation before Barnes managed to remove the officer’s Taser from its holster.

According to Senties, Barnes pointed the weapon at the officer and said “You’re dead,” at which time the officer, fearing for his safety, pulled out his gun and fired an undetermined number of times.

Barnes was pronounced dead on the scene.

Senties said Officer Gardner was placed on three days administrative duty, which is standard in such a situation.

“I just want to reiterate that’s not a punishment,” he said. “It’s just a way for an officer to decompress and get back into the regular routine and flow of things.”

“It’s a pretty traumatic situation whenever an officer has to discharge his weapon- that’s the last thing that they want to do.”

“The last thing they want is for an encounter with a suspect to turn out this way.”

Gardner is a seven-year HPD veteran who works out of the HPD Northeast substation.

Witnesses said a large number of wreckers gathered as the scene progressed.

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