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Chad Read’s mother, children sue Kyle Carruth for gross negligence

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 5:51 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - An attorney representing Chad Read’s mother and three children filed a lawsuit Monday against William Kyle Carruth and his companies. The suit claims Carruth negligently shot and killed Read November 5, using deadly force that was not justified, causing mental and emotional anguish and pain, torment and suffering.

The suit on behalf of Jinx Read and the three children seeks more than $1 million in damages, filed against Carruth individually as well as WC Land Services, Vitruvian Development, LLC and Carruth Energy, LC.

Monday’s filing is separate from other court actions. Last week Jennifer Read, Chad Read’s widow, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Carruth and his companies. Also, Jennifer Read filed a petition Nov. 24 seeking custody of Chad Read’s children from their mother.

The new court record shows Read was at Carruth’s place of business, near 90th Street and Avenue P, trying to pick up his son on November 5. According to Jinx Read’s suit, “[i]n the process of a non-physical dispute between Chad Read and his ex-wife, Christina, Defendant Carruth took it upon himself to go into the building and come out with a firearm and confront Chad Read while Chad read was not a threat to Defendant Carruth or any person or property.”

The filing claims “Carruth ultimately used the firearm to end the life of an unarmed Chad Read in a cold, methodical and calculated manner.” It claims Carruth fired his weapon “merely to threaten an individual” and used deadly force while Read “was unarmed and posed no physical threat to Defendant Carruth or others”. The suit also alleges Carruth made verbal and physical threats to an unarmed individual and exited “the building with a firearm to confront Chad Read while he was no threat to life or property”.

Mobile phone video of the deadly confrontation has spread far beyond the South Plains, both on social media and on national news broadcasts. It shows Read and Carruth arguing outside of the home on 90th Street. Carruth is holding a long-barreled gun. The argument escalates and Carruth fires a shot in the ground toward Read. Read gets more agitated and tries to take the gun. After physical contact with each other, wrestling with the gun, Carruth steps back and fires two shots. Before the shots were fired, the camera moves and video of the shooting is not caught on camera; however shots are audible. When the video pans back towards Read, he is lying motionless on the porch.

The video continues for about 45 seconds after Read was shot. Monday’s lawsuit claims Carruth did not render aid to Read “nor did he even attempt to have anyone else attempt to save the life of Chad Read.” The suit also claims negligence by “failing to call authorities” and “failing to render aid or allow others to do so to Chad Read after shooting him”, and alleges Carruth interfered with the custodial rights of a father governed under a Court Order.

KCBD spoke to Carruth’s attorney after the child custody case was filed. Attorney David Guinn said then the video “confirms the Lubbock Police’s thorough work reflects this as a justified homicide.” Guinn says Carruth holds a valid defense under the Castle Doctrine, “to defend himself, others or his property,” and they are looking forward to the Attorney General’s Office investigating and presenting the case to a Lubbock grand jury. It was not clear, as of last week, if Guinn would represent Carruth in the earlier civil filing. We are also working to find an attorney for Carruth in Monday’s lawsuit.

Minimal information was released by law enforcement in the days immediately following the shooting. The identity of the shooter had not been released. It was five days later, on Nov. 10 when the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from the case, on the grounds that an elected official may be called to testify.

The Lubbock Police Department then issued a statement explaining why the name of the shooter had not been released. “While LPD recognizes there is public interest in this case, there are multiple facets of this ongoing investigation that dictate what can and cannot be released to the public, per Texas state law,” the department said in a statement.

Then on November 16, six days later, the police department transferred its case files to the Texas Attorney General for its review.

On November 19, a court document identified Kyle Carruth as the shooter in the case. That document, signed by Judge Anne-Marie Carruth, was filed as part of her countersuit in the couple’s divorce. She is the judge of the 72nd District Court in Crosby and Lubbock counties.

In the affidavit, according to the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal, Anne-Marie Carruth wrote she was “notified that my husband, William Kyle Carruth, is under investigation for the shooting and killing of his girlfriend’s children’s father after he attempted to pick up his children late Friday afternoon. My knowledge of the incident is very limited at this time, and it is my understanding that the police are still investigating.”

The court documents were sealed when the divorce was finalized, on November 19. Both parties agreed to seal the divorce records and a judge determined the reasons were valid. Sources tell KCBD the divorce was filed in the 99th District Court, however, Judge Phillip Hays recused himself and a visiting judge from Amarillo presided. The judge from Amarillo granted the request to seal the records.

The day after Jennifer Read filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Kyle Carruth and his business for the death of her husband Chad Read, the judge presiding over the case recused himself. Monday’s lawsuit was filed in the 72nd District Court, through the standard process cases are assigned. Sources tell KCBD Judge Carruth recused herself from the case.

There have been no criminal charges or arrests in this case.

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