Suspected gunman in Lone Star College shooting: 'Someone bumped me'

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by KHOU.com staff & Larry Seward / KHOU 11 NEWS

khou.com

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 5:57 AM

Updated Monday, Jan 28 at 11:17 AM

EDITOR'S NOTE: On January 28, Charges were dropped against Carlton Berry, the man who was first accused in the shooting on the campus of Lone Star College.  

 

HOUSTON — The suspected gunman in the Lone Star College’s North Harris campus shooting was arrested in Plano overnight by the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force and returned to Houston Friday morning.  The suspect told KHOU 11 News that it all started when someone "bumped" him. 

Trey Foster, 22, arrived back in Houston around 6:30 a.m. to face aggravated assault charges.

Three people were wounded Tuesday after Foster opened fire during an argument with another man. He fled town after that, while authorities scrambled to try and find out what exactly happened. Immediately following the shooting, Foster’s 22-year-old friend, Carlton Berry, was charged with the crime, but that may have been a mistake.

At a news conference on Friday, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said, “He (Foster) confirms that it was an act of getting bumped into that is at the root cause of this entire incident.”

Berry, one of the shooting victims,told his side of the story while recovering at Ben Taub Hospital.

Berry said he and Foster were walking on campus when a man named Jody Neal bumped into Foster. Foster and Neal argued briefly, then went their separate ways.

Thirty minutes later, Foster, Berry and Neal crossed paths again at the doorway of the Academic Building and the argument flared up again. That is when Foster pulled out a gun and started shooting, according to court documents.

Neal was shot in the abdomen and the leg. He ran to the library and collapsed.

Bobby Cliburn, a 69-year-old campus maintenance man, was an innocent bystander. He was shot in the leg.

“He just started shooting,” said Cliburn. “He didn’t waste any time.”

Before he had a chance to duck for cover, it was too late.

“I tried to duck in behind one of the columns and he got me before I could do it,” Cliburn said.

Berry was hit in the hip. Investigators initially said Berry shot himself in the buttocks when he tried to put his gun back in his pants, but there was no gun found on the scene.

Neal identified Berry as the shooter when he was being carried past him on a stretcher.

After getting Berry’s side of the story, authorities showed Neal a photo lineup with Foster on Wednesday. Neal then identified Foster as the gunman, saying he made a mistake when he identified Berry earlier because Foster and Berry were both wearing red shirts.

“Once everyone has time to reflect back and review photo spreads and remember what has occurred and review any photos or video surveillance, they are much better able to determine what they saw and who they saw do it,” said Alison Baimbridge, Harris County Assistant District Attorney.

The task force tracked Foster to Plano and took him into custody. KHOU 11 News was on the scene when the handcuffed suspect returned. The gun was also recovered, but the only thing missing was a full explanation from Foster about what happened.

When KHOU 11 News asked about Tuesday’s shooting, Foster only responded with “What happened?”

When asked if he knew Carlton Berry, Foster said, “yes I do.”

Later that day as he was being transported again by officers, he gave a little more of an explanation about what sparked the shooting.  "Someone bumped me," he said.

“He (Foster) did say that he did not intend to shoot anyone -- he didn’t want to shoot anybody,” said community activist Quanell X. “He said this was a confrontation between him and somebody else. It got out of hand and he said he thought he was defending himself. He did say the victims who were shot-- he is remorseful of that.

Berry’s mother, Michelle Felix, is both relieved and furious now that evidence shows her son was not the gunman, after all.

“My son has been blasted over 50 states. It is very, very devastating how they has taken my child and just made him out as this monster,” Felix said.

Meantime, Foster’s grandma is worried sick about her grandson. Mary Bingley said Foster went to Lone Star College Tuesday to check on getting his barber’s license. No one had any idea that outing would capture the attention of the nation.

“This is Mr. Foster’s words to me…that Carlton Berry had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting,” said Quanell X. “Carlton Berry is 100 percent innocent of the shooting.”

Records show Foster has a criminal history that includes charges of resisting arrest and possession of a prohibited weapon.  There is no word yet on whether charges against Berry will be dropped.

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