At first, Jamie Lamont Jones told police he couldn't have fired the shots. He'd been lying in bed in a back room when it happened, the same spot he'd been for days. Surely the officers could see that someone in his condition -- paralyzed from the waist down and missing a leg -- could no more make it to the porch and back with a gun than a pig could sprout wings. Besides, he told them, he didn't even own a gun. They could search the house if they wanted to waste their time.
Marcus Rich, a 51-year-old mail carrier, told a different story. He'd finished his route at quarter till noon and was walking back to his truck down Highland Hills Drive in Southeast Oak Cliff. As he passed in front of Jones' house, the one-legged man was on the front porch with a gun pointed straight at him.
Jones fired two shots, missing with both but sending Rich scrambling for his truck, where he called 911. Rich told police he had no idea why Jones was trying to kill him. He knew the man but only from brief encounters delivering the mail. They'd never fought.
The postal worker's account was bolstered by the officers' discovery of a handgun in the garage, which had been inexpertly hidden and was hanging from the attic above the garage. Confronted with the gun and a statement from a witness who had been on the porch when the shots were fired, Jones admitted he'd been the gunman.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Here, Rich and Jones' stories diverge once again. Whereas Rich claimed their encounters were minimal and courteous, Jones said the letter carrier of sleeping with his common-law wife. They'd had a knock-down argument about it the night before.
Because the narrative is provided by a police officer instead of, say, William Faulkner, we don't know whether Rich was indeed cuckolding Jones. But even if he was, shooting at people is illegal, doubly so when you're a convicted felon like Jones.
He was placed under arrest for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He would have gone to Lew Sterrett, but he had bed sores and an open wound, so he was taken to Baylor instead.