[Guest post by DRJ]
Houston police shot a 52-year-old man yesterday morning after he fled during a traffic stop, led the police on a high-speed chase for almost an hour, and then made a threatening gesture instead of obeying the officer’s commands after he was stopped.
The mystery is why this happened because it now appears the deceased was an intelligence officer for the US government:
“The victim was identified by friends as Roland Vincent Carnaby, 52, of Houston. But who he really was — or more precisely, what he was — is something police are still trying to piece together.
Carnaby held himself out as a federal intelligence agent but was sometimes cagey about his precise job and employer. At times he mentioned the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Security. He was the president of the local chapter of the Association for Intelligence Officers, a legitimate national organization whose board contains luminaries such as former President George H.W. Bush. Friends said they have seen him in the company socially of local law enforcement officials and high-level CIA bureaucrats.
The CIA told KHOU that Carnaby was not an employee of the intelligence agency.
“Most of what he does is so classified that regular homicide (detectives) will come up with a blank page and then a question about why you are asking,” said Fred Platt, the vice president of the local chapter of intelligence agents. “He’s here because of homeland security. The port and the airport. He knows everybody on the command staff of every agency.”
Local law enforcement officials, however, say they don’t know him, including Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt and Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas. The local FBI office also claims to have no knowledge of him.”
Platt is mystified by Carnaby’s death:
“That’s the question his friends want answered. They say Carnaby had no reason to run or disobey police. Platt said he had dined with Carnaby both Saturday and Sunday and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Carnaby was engaged to be married, he said, and led a happy life.
“I can’t fathom any reason why he would be running from the police because he is the police,” Platt said. “This doesn’t make any sense. I can’t understand him running or why they opened up on him. This doesn’t smell right.”
It sounds like a movie plot but sometimes life is stranger than fiction.
UPDATE: The article has been updated. It states that Carnaby showed police a card identifying him as a CIA employee when he was initially stopped but the police officer “did not know what federal credentials looked like” and did not know if it was authentic.
In addition, this 5/2/2008 Houston Chronicle article has more information from the police. Carnaby was being detained because the officer thought his CIA identification was fraudulent. Carnaby called acquaintances at the Houston Police Department and the FBI for assistance before and during the 120-mph chase, but he was unable to provide a CIA supervisor’s name or number.
It sounds like Carnaby was living a fantasy life, but it ended.