Texas shooting spree: New details released in murder of suspect's parents

New details have been released in the murder of Shane James Sr. and Phyllis James in San Antonio, Texas.

Their son, Shane James Jr, is accused of killing the couple and four others as well as injuring three people in a matter of less than 24 hours in December 2023. According to authorities, James' spree began with the murder of his parents at the home he shared with them on Port Royal Street.

Court paperwork filed in Bexar County says the sheriff's office was contacted by Austin police after James was taken into custody on Dec. 5, 2023. APD asked for BCSO to perform a welfare check on James' parents and advised that James had been driving a Nissan Versa registered with his father at one point during the spree.


Deputies responded to the home in the 6400 block of Port Royal Street and tried to contact the residents inside. Two dogs could be heard inside the house and deputies noticed running water along the side of the house.

Citing exigent circumstances, deputies forced their way into the garage and into the home. Blood was found in the kitchen, and a trail of it led deputies to a bathroom next to the master bedroom. They attempted to open the door, but it was blocked.

When deputies eventually opened the door, they found the bodies of Phyllis and Shane James Sr inside. Their identities were later confirmed via fingerprints by the Bexar County Medical Examiner.

A search warrant issued for the home uncovered shell casings, "written words, phrases, and notes thumbtacked to the wall," "several written journals," and a laptop, all collected by investigators.


Investigators at the scene interviewed Phyllis and Shane's two adult children, who had traveled to San Antonio after several attempts to reach their parents. The siblings told investigators their brother Shane suffered from schizophrenia after being discharged from the Army for family violence in 2015 and continued to mentally decompensate.

In an interview with investigators, Shane James Jr stated he had been feeling impending doom, and it got worse, according to court paperwork. On the morning of Dec. 5, he had been watching YouTube videos and putting notes on his wall in anger. He later went downstairs to ask his father a question, but his father made a joke.

After that, James said he went upstairs to load his pistol and then back downstairs and shot his father twice in the head. He then went to his parents' bedroom where his mother was screaming and shot her in the head once, then again because he "didn't want his mother to suffer," said the court paperwork.

He then dragged their bodies into the master bathroom, took money from his mother's purse, then left the home in his father's car heading north towards Austin.

December 2023 was not James's first run-in with law enforcement, nor his first incident involving family members. 

According to BCSO last year, James was arrested in January 2022 for three misdemeanor assault charges. The victims were believed to be his parents and a sibling.

According to Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and Bexar County booking records, James was bonded out by the Texas Organizing Project on March 7, 2022. The next day, he cut off his ankle monitor.

The last altercation he had with law enforcement was in August 2023 when deputies received a call for a mental health episode at the Port Royal Street home.

James is also accused of murdering 24-year-old Sabrina Rahman and 32-year-old Emmanuel Pop Ba in South Austin and 56-year-old Katherine Short and 30-year-old Lauren Short in Southwest Austin. He also shot and injured an Austin ISD police officer, an Austin police officer and a cyclist.

His attorney told FOX 7 Austin on Tuesday, June 11, that he'd like to negotiate a plea deal for James, but no offers have been made yet. The next court date is August 20.

FOX 7 Austin's reporting partner KSAT contributed to this report.