Gunman killed his parents in Bexar County before going on shooting spree in Austin, officials say
Two people murdered inside their East Bexar County home on Tuesday have been identified as 55-year-old Phyllis James and 56-year-old Shane James Sr.
The man accused of the killings is their 34-year-old son, Shane James Jr.
Authorities say after killing his parents in the Bexar County home he shared with them, James Jr. went on to drive more than 80 miles to Austin, where the suspect is alleged to have killed four more people and wounded three others — an Austin police officer, an Austin ISD School District Officer, and a cyclist.
James Jr. is in custody in Austin and has been charged in Travis County with Capitol Murder of Multiple Persons. Charges are pending in Bexar County.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said Wednesday afternoon that authorities are still working to figure out a motive for the shooting rampage in Austin.
"I don't know that there was any rhyme or reason to how he selected his victims at all," Salazar said. "Nothing that we've been made aware of."
Salazar said investigators are piecing together where the weapon came from.
"We’re assuming it came from within the house, but beyond that, I don’t know much about the weapon he was caught with. What I can tell you at this point is that I believe the shell casings we found in the home to match at least some of the shell casings found in Austin," Salazar said. "But beyond that, I don’t know if they match that gun that he was caught with or if how many guns he was caught with."
Deputies had previously visited the Bexar County home on mental health calls.
Salazar said James Jr. had previous charges and active warrants for assault and bodily injury.
The Texas Organizing Project, which bailed out James Jr. in February 2022 through its justice program, released a statement following news of the shooting spree.
"The events that have unfolded are devastating, and we recognize the pain and suffering this incident has caused. "We take our responsibilities seriously and acknowledge that we must address both the immediate impact of this tragedy and the broader implications for our bail program," read the statement.
"We understand that some may try to use this tragedy to criticize bail programs, even for misdemeanors. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our mission, advocating for the rights and representation of all Texans. Additionally, we are acutely aware of the urgent need to address gun violence as an endemic issue in Texas and across the United States. We can’t ignore the larger context in which incidents like these occur."