Records show mounting red flags surrounding suspect charged in San Antonio-Austin murder spree

BCSO deputies declined to take Shane James Jr., 34, into custody on outstanding domestic violence warrants in late August

SAN ANTONIO – Shane James Jr., the San Antonio man accused of murdering his parents inside their northeast Bexar County home before killing four more people and injuring three others in Austin this week, had his bond reduced twice and conditions of release amended last year in a San Antonio domestic violence case, charging paperwork obtained by KSAT Investigates shows.

James was arrested late Tuesday in Austin after the string of attacks and remains at the Travis County Jail, where he is being held without bond.

No contact order changed

James was arrested in early January 2022 after Bexar County sheriff’s deputies said he assaulted three family members inside their home at 6403 Port Royal, outside Kirby.

Law enforcement officials this week described the incident, which resulted in James being arrested on three charges of misdemeanor family violence, as James scratching and striking his parents and his sibling.

James shoved his father several times and scratched his neck, and his mother fell and hit her head after James pushed her husband into her, a BCSO incident report shows.

She had a “quarter size knot” on the back of her head, the report shows.

James pushed his sibling twice, causing her to fall and injure her shoulder, according to the report.

All three family members told deputies they wanted to press charges against James, the report states.

James was first ordered not to have contact with the three people, charging paperwork obtained by KSAT Investigates shows.

The order, however, was amended three weeks later to state that he was to have no harmful or injurious contact with them, the records show.

While in custody, James’ bond was reduced twice from the original $2,000, first on Jan. 27, 2022, to $500, then on Feb. 23, 2022, to $100.

Laquita Garcia, statewide police coordinator for the Texas Organizing Project, then submitted paperwork to bond out James on Feb. 28, 2022, records show.

James was released from the Bexar County Jail on March 7, 2022, with bond conditions including GPS monitoring that restricted him to Haven for Hope, Crosspoint and Villa Serena, all of which offer mental health treatment.

None of the organizations returned calls from KSAT seeking comment Thursday.

James cut off his ankle monitor a day after being released from jail, leading the court to issue three warrants for his re-arrest, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar confirmed Wednesday.

Despite the outstanding warrants for his arrest, James remained free for 21 months, records show.

14 calls for service

BCSO deputies responded to the home on Port Royal at least 14 times between April 2016 and Tuesday, when the bodies of James’ parents were found in a bedroom, law enforcement records obtained by KSAT show.

Seven of the calls were for disturbances, welfare checks and a mental health crisis, records show.

Deputies encountered James in a bedroom at the home in late August but declined to take him into custody on the warrants to avoid a possible “violent confrontation,” Salazar said Wednesday.

Deputies instead asked James’ father to call them back once James emerged from the bedroom and things had settled down, according to Salazar.

“By all appearances, it doesn’t appear that that call ever came in,” said Salazar.

James discharged from U.S. Army

James served as an infantry soldier in the United States Army from February 2013 until August 2015.

An Army spokesman on Thursday declined to provide details on James’ Aug. 17, 2015, discharge from the Army, telling KSAT that a privacy act and Department of Defense policy prevented him from doing so.

Bexar County law enforcement officials on Wednesday said James was dishonorably discharged following a domestic violence incident.

Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales told the media the incident happened away from San Antonio, limiting how much information would have been shared with law enforcement agencies here.

Texas Department of Public Safety records show James was convicted of misdemeanor criminal trespass in 2017 in Tarrant County.

About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.