‘This has stunned all of us.’ Church members talk about the Garrett Reeves they know.
Janice Robinson remembers clearly the day when the pianist for the small Baptist Church she attends in Clairette didn’t show up for the morning service.
It was Sunday, April 10, and unbeknownst to her, Garrett Reeves, the young man known for his beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace, was being questioned by the Texas Rangers and Erath County sheriff’s deputies in connection with the shooting of his father.
Her worst nightmare could have never conjured up the horror that had taken place the night before, which left Garrett’s father – Erath County auditor Kent Reeves – fighting for his life in a Fort Worth hospital, suffering from so many gunshot wounds that it was difficult to tell exactly how many had been inflicted.
“When Garrett didn’t show up that morning, I knew something was wrong because he is a responsible young man,” Janice told Beneath the Surface News. “I kept texting him, but he never answered.”
After the service, Janice went home and began scouring area news sites for possible information.
“I thought he might have had a wreck coming to church, so I was not quite prepared for what I found out,” she said.
By that afternoon, news began circulating that Garrett had allegedly shot his father with an AR-15 multiple times inside the family’s home in Erath County shortly before midnight on April 9.
While investigators have not released a motive, Garrett has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was indicted by an Erath County grand jury on Wednesday.
He is being held at the Hood County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
In what can only be described as miraculous, his father survived the shooting and has been released from the hospital.
‘HE WAS A KIND YOUNG MAN’
Janice is the music director at Clairette Baptist Church and her husband Gary is the preacher.
She said she met Garrett about five years ago when the church began advertising for a piano player.
“(Garrett’s) mother called and asked if we would give him a chance, and he just blew us away,” Janice said. “The talent he has is just amazing.”
Garrett was home schooled and after graduation, he left the church and headed to Austin where he hoped to break into the music scene, Janice said.
He returned to Erath County in 2020 and resumed playing the piano at church, until that fateful day in April when so many lives were turned upside down.
“This has stunned all of us; it’s knocked us off our feet,” Janice said. “The young man that came and played in our church – I just don’t know how he could have done something like this – I don’t understand what could have happened.
“I’m not making excuses for what he did, but I believe there is more to this story than we know.”
‘A HAPPY GO-LUCKY’ GUY
Steve Allen is also a member of Clairette Baptist Church and befriended Garrett about three years ago.
Church members take up a donation every week and Steve drives it to the Hood County Jail so Garrett has money for phone calls and snacks.
“I don’t know the facts of what happened that night, but I can be a character witness and tell you what he’s like,” Steve said. “There’s not an angry bone in his body; he is all smiles and a happy go-lucky guy.
“And he is an impressive musician; he can light that piano up, especially when he is playing Amazing Grace.”
Steve says he remains in close contact with Garrett who is experiencing “culture shock” in jail.
“He went from having his freedom to going to jail and that’s been difficult, but he has gotten into a little bit of a groove and he wants the truth to come out,” Steve said. “I know he has been working closely with his attorney.”
Garrett is being represented by Comanche attorney Jud Woodley.
Steve said he refrains from asking Garrett about the night of the shooting and has no idea what triggered the incident.
“I try to talk about things that will keep him upbeat,” he said. “I tell him that the truth will set him free, whatever that is, I don’t know.”
When asked if he is aware of any problems Garrett and his father might have had, he said, “none whatsoever.”
“We are in complete disbelief,” Steve said. “We all love and care for him and we were floored when we heard what happened.”