EARLY — One person was arrested on a drug charge and police are seeking the public’s help in locating another who is sought for evidence tampering in connection with the shooting last week that wounded a 17-year-old Brownwood teen.
Those are among the details released by Early Police Chief David Mercer, who also said the case will be presented to a grand jury to determine if charges will be filed against the 17-year-old male shooter. Mercer has not identified that person.
Mercer initially said the shooting, which happened at 10:45 p.m. Dec. 5 at a home in the 600 block of Lucas in Early, was “looking” accidental. Mercer said via text message Tuesday morning, “negligence would be the correct statement.”
Jeremiah Jay Jones was one of five people in a bedroom when someone began playing with a .40 caliber handgun and pointing it at the others, Mercer said. That person fired a shot in the room, striking Jones in the chest.
Jones’ family said his condition is improving and he is expected to make a full recovery, Mercer said. Jones was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
Police obtained a warrant Monday for evidence tampering for Mason Carpenter, 22, of Lake Brownwood. Police are seeking the public’s help in locating Carpenter. Carpenter was at the scene of the shooting and detectives believe the gun used in the shooting had been in Carpenter’s possession. Detectives believe Carpenter got the gun and fled the scene after the shooting, Mercer said.
Also Monday, police arrested Keirsten Matlock, 19, of Early on a warrant for manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, Mercer said. Matlock is free on $7,500 bond.
The shooting happened in Matlock’s bedroom, where methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia including packaging materials were located in plain view in the bedroom, Mercer said.
Mercer said earlier via email: Early police officers along with other law enforcement officers from the Brownwood Police Department and Brown County Sheriff’s Office, the Early Fire Department and Lifeguard Ambulance responded to the 100 block of northwest Live Oak to what was reported to be a male subject shot in the chest lying in the road. Officers found Jones lying in the road and provided first aid until fire and EMS arrived. The victim was then airlifted from the scene by Air Evac Lifeteam to a Fort Worth hospital. The investigation led officers to a residence in the 600 block of Lucas Drive where the shooting occurred. Inside a bedroom of the residence officers found a bloody scene along with drug paraphernalia and a small amount of methamphetamine. Officers questioned several individuals and learned the victim and four others were in the bedroom, where one person was playing with the gun pointing it at the others. That person fired a shot in the room, striking Jones.
The individuals in the room fled the scene along with Jones, who stumbled out of the house and into the roadway where he collapsed. The individual who fired the weapon remained with the victim until law enforcement arrived, and eventually confessed to accidentally shooting the victim.
Anyone with information on Carpenter’s location is asked to contact the Early Police Department or their local law information, Mercer said. He said Carpenter is known to frequent the Abilene and San Angelo areas.
Mercer declined to comment on whether police recovered the gun, which Mercer said matches the description of a gun reported stolen earlier to the sheriff’s office.