AUSTIN, Texas - He was dressed as Santa at a weekend Halloween party.
Now, an Austin man, Randall Gaston Jones, is in jail house stipes charged with murder. Monday, investigators said: the man who was shot to death, Michael McCloskey, was trying to protect others at the gathering.
Police were called to the 5500 block of Avenue F a little after 6:00 Sunday morning.
The alleged gunman, identified as Randall Gaston Jones was at a neighbor’s house when police arrived. Investigators said Jones, was in a costume and had placed a handgun on a neighbor's welcome mat telling them he would surrender to police.
"The suspect was described as being dressed up as Santa Claus because it was a holiday party a Halloween party,” said APD Detective Lee Knouse.
Monday afternoon investigators described Jones as being drunk and had been told to go to his room by his roommate and others still at the gathering. Jones allegedly came back from his room armed with a gun- fired a shot into the floor which lead to a confrontation with one of the guest according to APD Lt Jason Staniszewski.
"Michael McCloskey at that point tried to protect everyone in the residence and went after Mr. Jones,” said Lt. Staniszewski
McCloskey was mortally wounded and 3 others were shot during the struggle.
"One of the victims that was transported, was a roommate. Michael was unknown, to Mr. jones as he came to the party with someone else and he did not live there and were not personally related,” said Lt. Staniszewski
Lt Staniszewski admits things happened fast but offered this advice for anyone caught up in this kind of situation.
"If there is a shooting around you, or you hear shots fired, the most important things to take cover and protect yourself, and it may be hard to learn where the shots are coming from, but you don’t want to blindly run to a location because you might be running into the direction of danger instead of away,” said Lt. Staniszewski.
Along with the murder charge multiple assault charges are also being filed against Jones.