From The Texas Newsroom:
The man accused of killing six people in a violent spree across Texas last week had repeated encounters with police over the years, including a mental health crisis just three months before the shootings.
In August, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a home in East Bexar County. According to a retelling of the incident by the Bexar County sheriff, 34-year-old Shane James, Jr., had barricaded himself, naked, inside a bedroom.
James had three active warrants for family violence. A year and a half earlier, he had cut off his ankle monitor after getting out of jail. He was off his medication and had been drinking, according to the sheriff. Through a crack in the door, he said, James hurled racial and homophobic slurs.
But Sheriff Javier Salazar’s deputies did not take James into custody that day.
They wanted to avoid a violent confrontation, he explained. So the officers left, telling James’ father to let them know when his son emerged. He didn’t call, the sheriff said. It’s unclear whether the deputies ever went back.
The crisis call was far from the first time officers came into contact with James.
He was arrested in Fort Worth in 2017 and was detained for mental health reasons in Austin the next year. In January 2022, he was charged with assaulting three family members. Considered low risk at the time, James was released from jail on bond in March.
Four months later, James bought a .45 caliber handgun. His bond conditions barred him from having a gun. But the sale was private, requiring no background check.