I went and grabbed a video of the incident and I've got second thoughts on my previous remark. There's a part of this video that isn't visible and it's right before both Cousins and Carter rise. There is that possibility that Carter had Cousins' arms locked while they were bent over and Cousins was trying to free himself. And as Cousins is rising, he realizes it almost instantly and tries to grab Carter and keep him up. But by then the damage is done. There is that possibility that if Cousins didn't have his rep that this might have a different result. IMHO.
Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?