He remembers hanging out in “the man cave” at one their friend’s houses after every game, building camaraderie and sharing laughs.
And he remembers Carr consoling him after a tough high school breakup.
But most of all, he remembers the general kindness Carr treated people with, at The Woodlands High School and beyond.
Donovan and countless others from The Woodlands community are grieving this week after Carr, who became a police officer after college, was “ambushed and executed” while sitting in his patrol car outside police headquarters in a college town in northwest Arkansas.
Carr, who graduated from The Woodlands in 2011, died after a man approached his vehicle outside the Fayetteville Police Department headquarters and shot him point-blank in the head, according to a report from the Associated Press. Carr was 27 years old.
“All I know is that this was a cowardly act,” Fayetteville Police Chief Mike Reynolds said during a new conference on Sunday, according to the AP. “I have no information that leads me to believe that he targeted this officer specifically. He was looking for an officer to kill.”
The suspect was identified by Reynolds as London Phillips, 35, of Fayetteville. After hearing gunshots around 9:42 p.m., two officers ran outside the station where they confronted, shot and killed Phillips.
Reynolds became choked up and appeared to fight back tears during the news conference, according to the AP. He said Carr had joined the Fayetteville Police Department about 2 ½ years ago. He was a patrol officer who was assigned to the entertainment district.
“He was an all-American boy,” Reynolds said. “He came from a law enforcement family. He knew what the job was about, and he just wanted to serve his community.”
Reynolds said there has been an outpouring of shock, disbelief and support from people in Fayetteville and the surrounding area.
“I think it just proves that we’re not immune and that officers are being targeted every day throughout our country,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate.”
Carr was a three-year letter winner for the Highlanders football program while in high school. He was a first-team all-district selection following his senior season in 2010 and was a starter on the offensive line that paved the way for former New Orleans Saints running back Daniel Lasco to set the all-time rushing record.
Carr went on to play football at Southwestern Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., and graduated with a degree in economics and finance.
“He was a guy that I know will be missed,” Donovan said. “In my opinion, he was a hero. There’s not a lot of people that are willing to go out and become a police officer, especially in today’s world with everything that’s going on with the police and the media and all that stuff. It’s definitely not an easy job to go into.
“For him to be able to go into that and serve his community with dignity and respect, it’s something that I think needs to be known. He should be given the utmost respect for the job he did while he was there and the close friend he was to all of us.”
Former The Woodlands head coach Mark Schmid, who is now the head coach at Oak Ridge, said not only was Carr a good football player, but he was an outstanding young man, great teammate and friend.
“He was well liked by his peers and respected by the coaches that worked with him,” Schmid said in a statement from Conroe ISD. “He was the type of young man that all coaches want on their team. Stephen was extremely proud of the fact that his father was a police officer and shared his desire to follow in his footsteps one day.
“Our football family is extremely saddened with the tragedy of his death. To lose such a fine young man who chose to serve others, protect his fellow man, as well as provide a sense of order and security to his community, is heartbreaking. Our prayers are with his family as they deal with this devastating loss.”
Jamie Swinnerton and the Associated Press contributed to this report.