Trooper Carlos Ray Warren

Trooper Carlos Ray Warren

Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, March 5, 1991

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Carlos Ray Warren

Trooper Carlos Warren was shot and killed when he interrupted an abduction in progress at a rural highway rest area on Highway 71 near Del Valle, Texas. He was shot in the neck.

The suspect fled the scene but was later stopped in San Antonio, Texas, for not wearing his seatbelt. He opened fire on the officer who stopped him and was wounded by the officer's return fire. He was convicted of Trooper Warren's murder and sentenced to prison. He was denied parole in 2008 again in 2017, and his parole will not be reviewed again until 2027.

Trooper Warren was a United States Army veteran who had served with the Texas Highway Patrol for five years and was assigned to Region 6. He had previously served as a special agent with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command for seven years. He is survived by his parents, two daughters, and three brothers.

Bio

  • Age 30
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .380 caliber
  • Offender Eligible for parole in 2027

abduction

Most Recent Reflection

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I grew up in south Austin and met Carlos Warren in 1987 during my first job after law school at UT with the Travis County Attorney's office. Carlos patrolled south Austin so he was often my only witness in the JP court in precinct 3 (SW Travis County). While Carlos had previous law enforcement experience in the military, he had only started with DPS the year before in 1986. He and I got our initial on the job jury trial training together. Carlos took his work very seriously and could be an intense witness, but he was also friendly and engaging. We also got to know each other a bit better when we played on a city league flag football team together along with several other prosecutors and officers.

Fast forward a couple of years - Carlos had moved over to patrol precinct 4 in southeast Travis County and I wound up as the DA's court chief in the 147th District Court with Judge Wilford Flowers - Travis County's first black district judge. I knew the area Carlos patrolled well, having grown up in south and east Austin. In high school we used to hang out at a ranch house on property along Onion creek just down the hill from where Carlos died on highway 71.

I was horrified, angry and depressed when I learned of Carlos' death. As fate would have it, the case involving the kid who shot him landed in the 147th - my court. It was among the most difficult things I've ever had to do - work a homicide case, including every detail of the incident, the witnesses and evidence where you personally know and had a friendship with the victim. In retrospect, maybe I should have asked someone else to handle the case but I didn't. I kind of felt like Carlos would have wanted me to be involved even though I was in the process of leaving the DA's office for private practice toward the end of 1991. I worked on several pre-trial matters leading up to the trial along with Howard F. "Buddy" Meyer - one of my mentors in the DA's office, and kept up with the progression of the case through trial.

From time to time I stop by the rest area where Carlos' memorial stands when I go out to my grandparent's place in Bastrop. I still remember Carlos' good humor and broad smile. I know it is a hollow consolation, but I hope that his family has been able to find some comfort and peace in the knowledge that so many people admired him and still honor his memory.

Descanse en Paz, Querido Amigo.

Gonzalo Joseph Barrientos
former Travis County Assistant District Attorney and friend

February 17, 2022

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