New charges filed for man accused in Bexar County-Austin killing spree

Shane James Jr. is being held on 10 charges at Travis County Jail

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man accused of killing his parents in Bexar County and four people in Austin last week is facing new charges.

Travis County Jail records show Shane James Jr., 34, is being held on 10 charges total, including one count of aggravated assault-mass shooting, two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant, two counts of capital murder by terror threat, and two counts of capital murder of multiple persons in addition to three out-of-county misdemeanors.

He is being held without bond and tried to escape custody since his arrest, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

James Jr. was taken into custody late Dec. 5 following a daylong crime spree, which also wounded an Austin police officer, an Austin ISD police officer and a bicyclist.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said he is accused of killing his parents, identified as Phyllis James, 55, and Shane James Sr., at their home in the 6400 block of Port Royal in the Mission Hill community near Kirby sometime between the night of Dec. 4 and morning of Dec. 5.

Victims - Phyllis James, 55, and Shane M James Sr., 56 (BCSO)

The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office said they each died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Salazar said they believe the couple was killed before the incidents in Austin.

Austin police said James Jr. shot an Austin ISD police officer in the parking lot of Northeast Early College High School at 10:45 a.m. The officer sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Just before noon, the suspect killed Emmanuel Pop Ba, 32, during a carjacking in the 7300 block of Shadywood Drive, police said.

Sabrina Rahman, 24, was on the porch of a nearby home and witnessed the shooting. Police said James Jr. shot and killed her, narrowly missing her baby in a stroller nearby.

Police said James Jr. took Pop Ba’s car and shot a bicyclist just before 5 p.m. in the 5700 block of West Slaughter Lane, and then killed two women in the 5300 block of Austral Loop about two hours later.

The women killed on Austral Loop have been identified as Katherine Short, 56, and Lauren Short, 30. The bicyclist sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

James Jr. shot an Austin police officer who responded to the scene on Austral Loop, police said. The officer was taken to the hospital and was listed in stable condition.

An arrest warrant affidavit states James Jr. stole the family’s vehicle and was pursued by police. He later crashed and was taken into custody.

On Wednesday, TCSO said he tried to escape custody by pushing past a corrections officer and running into a hallway at the jail.

Kristen Dark, a spokesperson with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, told KSAT the incident happened as the corrections officer was opening the door to the housing unit where James Jr. was assigned.

“Corrections Officers detained him and he resisted,” Dark said. “He was ultimately restrained.”

Dark added James Jr. would not have been able to escape the floor he was on or the building.

James Jr. — who served as an infantry soldier in the Army from February 2013 to August 2015 — was previously charged in a domestic violence case in San Antonio.

BCSO deputies responded to the home on Port Royal at least 14 times between April 2016 and Dec. 5, law enforcement records obtained by KSAT show.

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

In one of those cases in January 2022, James Jr. assaulted three family members inside their home, Salazar said. He was arrested on three charges of misdemeanor family violence in that case.

While in custody, James Jr. had his bond reduced twice, charging paperwork obtained by KSAT Investigates shows. Laquita Garcia, statewide police coordinator for the Texas Organizing Project, then submitted paperwork to bond out James Jr. on Feb. 28, 2022, records show.

Conditions of his release were also amended, records show.

Warrants for James’ re-arrest were issued in early March 2022, after the defendant cut off his ankle monitor, Salazar said.

Salazar confirmed deputies were called to the home on Port Royal in August and spoke with James Jr., who was described as being nude in a bedroom, but left the residence without taking him into custody on the misdemeanor warrants to avoid a potentially violent confrontation.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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