Man accused of shooting woman in head appears in court

HPD: Victim dies, witnesses hold suspect until police arrive

By Mary Cuervo , Mark Boyle - Reporter , Gianna Caserta - Reporter

HOUSTON - A man police said shot a woman in the head at point blank range in southeast Houston appeared in court late Sunday night.

According to court documents, James Lawrence McCarty was with two friends, a husband and wife, Saturday night.

They stopped at a Valero gas station in the 7500 block of Scott Street near the South Loop.

The victim, Cyril Chatman Jones, stayed in the van while her husband and McCarty went into the store.

Information read in court revealed, "The store declined McCarty's credit card and he became agitated at that fact. The defendant came out of the store while the complainant's husband stayed inside.

The complainant (Chatman Jones) was in the seat in the van and started talking to the complainant. He then pulled out a .25-caliber handgun, pointed at her head and fired one time causing her death."

Police said it was unclear what Chapman Jones, 33, and McCarty were talking about or what motivated McCarty, 55, to shoot her.

During court proceedings, the judge set McCarty's bond at $50,000.

A bystander heard the shooting and put his own life on the line to stop McCarty. Chance Perkins heard the shots and took action.

"I look[ed] out of the corner of my eye and [saw] a silver pistol in this man's hand," said Perkins. "I want[ed] to keep my distance, and then he just shot the victim like it was nothing. Cold-blooded just right there, pulled [the gun] out in broad daylight and shot her."

Perkins not only witnessed the shooting, but grabbed McCarty and helped hold him down until police arrived.

"I was five feet from him, and that's when flight or fight kicked in, and me and him got into it," Perkins said. "I pushed my knee into the small of his back and got him on the ground."

Perkins said the man fired three more shots before other witnesses helped hold him down and get the gun from him. 

"I know what's right," Perkins said. "I gotta do it.  When I saw that happen, I couldn't live with myself if I just walked away or ran. I couldn't do that." 

He also revealed he just left the military after 6 years of service. Perkins said his combat training also helped guide his actions.

The victim's family spoke with Local 2.

"I'm real frustrated because that's a beautiful woman that he took and I don't understand what happened," said Willie Jones, the victim's husband.

Even though the suspect has been arrested in this case, police still plan on questioning him to determine a motive.

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