Family of gunshot victim continues to mourn his death
In the weeks after the shooting death of Jerry Paul James III, 37, of Victoria, his family continues to search for peace and understanding.
"God doesn't make mistakes. Everything that happens, happens for a purpose. We have to keep focused on that," said his sister, Carla James, 39, of Hurlburt Field, Fla.
The shooting took place at the Regency Studio Apartments in the 100 block of Regency Avenue at 1:52 p.m. April 24. James was killed and his girlfriend, Allaceia "Lacy" Stepheny, was injured and taken to Citizens Medical Center for treatment.
James is also survived by his mother, Rebecca Casey-James, of Bay City, and four siblings, Adam Jackson, 46, of Lake Jackson; Craig North, 42, of Houston; Jerrica James-Wallace, 41, of Clute and Carla James, 39, stationed with the Air Force in Hurlburt Field, Fla. Jerry Paul "Sugar Man" James was the baby of the family.
"My brother was a good person," Carla James said. "He may have had his faults, like any other person, but all he wanted to do was be a father and take care of his family."
James described their family as close-knit, always looking out for one another.
"We're very hurt and upset - especially because of the reason they gave," James said. "They shot him because they thought he tattled on them? They took someone's life for 'snitching?' I don't have words for that."
Funeral services for Jerry James was held at Jesus Freewill Holiness Church in Bay City on Saturday, and he was buried in St. Mark Cemetery in Bell Bottom.
Victoria police have arrested two suspects in connection with the shooting - Dedrick Roy Bonner, 18, and Donnell Deshaun Dilworth, 22, both of Victoria, but Sgt. Eline Moya said the investigation of the shooting is ongoing.
Carla James reflected on those affected by her brother's death, from the lives of the shooters and their families, to those who were close to Jerry Paul James III - including the lives of his children, Kelton Walker, of Angleton; Dezyre James, of Pasadena; Davyon James, of Clute; and Christopher James, of Victoria and a daughter, LaQuachus Davis, who he raised as his own.
"Five children called him Daddy. And one was just a baby. He had just turned 1 year old - and he was there when it happened," James said. "His death really took a toll on the family."
James' grandmother died in December and his father died in January. Casey-James had a liver transplant just weeks before her son was shot.
"We'll never get our brother back, and our mother will never get her son back," James said. "I just want people to know that my brother had a good heart."