Why did Texas police shoot paraplegic folk singer, Andrew Reid?

I totally feel like Nancy Drew right now, researching a shooting, the only difference is that it’s depressing; not fun. I was intruiged when I read on Google news about a Canadian folk singer and paraplegic, Andrew Reid, 37, who was shot and killed by Texas police last Friday. Police say he pulled one of their guns on an officer during an altercation.
Pretty crazy…a man who can’t walk overtaking a cop’s weapon? But that’s another story for another time.
I had never heard of Reid until today, but he was apparently pretty well known in the disability community. He was the 2001 Canadian Handcycling Champion and had recorded several records (Reid was paralyzed in a surfing accident in ‘99). He was also in the band, Rehab Mama, which he describes on his site – Reid Records – as “early Cowboy Junkies” (I’m glad his site is still online, btw. Fascinating).

And if you look at his site vs. the news stories, it’s easy to get a varied image of Reid. He was not some random crazy person in a wheelchair. No, he was educated, talented, attractive, and what people thought at least, sane. Just what happened to Andrew Reid?

The previous day was when things started to go downhill. Reid was road tripping it alone from California to Austin, TX, where he was going to visit a friend. And it was in Fort Stockton, TX, a day before the shooting, where he was in a 50 kilometer police chase, which the police aren’t giving any details on and that in it of itself is weird enough (who gets into several mile police chases out of the blue?). He was quickly captured, jailed overnight and released the next day. Done deal, right? Not quite.

Upon his release, police were called to his motel. Reid was hollering in the motel parking lot. When police arrived they tried to calm him, but he grabbed one of the officers’ guns and pointed it at his stomach. That was when the other officer shot Reid twice, fatally wounding him.

Who knows what was really going on in Andrew Reid’s mind (or life for that matter) last week when this craziness ensued. All of the news stories are incredibly vague and the people who knew him say they’re shocked at his actions.

It’s hard whenever a vivacious person with a spinal cord injury, someone doing amazing things and has so much promise, meets a sudden end. It’s like I knew him. I know exactly what his paralyzed existence was like. I know how hard it was.

And for the record, pointing that gun at the cop was an incredibly stupid thing to do.

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