GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (AP) Police in North Texas defended their actions Sunday hours after a woman and her boyfriend were found shot to death by her ex-husband, who then killed himself.
Grand Prairie police said Jenea James had called once Saturday morning and again that night to say that her ex-husband, Dashun Atkins, was calling to harass her, according to a police statement. After the first call, she declined to press charges but was given information on how to get a restraining order. After the second, a police officer called the ex-husband and told him to stop calling James.
Residents reported hearing gunshots after 2 a.m. Sunday, around three hours after James called police a second time. Officers found James, 37, lying in the front yard, and 41-year-old James Doyle lying nearby, the statement said. Two children were found inside, unharmed.
Police found Atkins, 39, dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home hours later, the statement said.
"At no time leading up to the shooting did officers have legal authority to arrest Dashun," police said in the statement.
Besides the calls from James, police said they also received a call shortly before midnight Saturday from someone claiming to be a relative of Atkins. That relative told police that Atkins "indicated he got into an argument with his ex-wife, and was saying goodbye," the statement said.
Officers then went to Atkins' apartment and spoke to him, but he "made no indication that he intended to harm himself, or anyone else."