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Edna man dies of gunshot wound

By Kathryn Cargo
Feb. 7, 2017 at 11 p.m.
Updated Feb. 8, 2017 at 6:11 a.m.

Edna police found Jarrett Parker, 33, shot to death in the 200 block of East Church Street in Edna.

Edna police found Jarrett Parker, 33, shot to death in the 200 block of East Church Street in Edna.   Angela Piazza for The Victoria Advocate

EDNA - Jarrett Parker spent much of his free time helping others and sitting down with other veterans to give them advice, his friends said.

Parker, 33, of Edna, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest early Tuesday morning at a home in the 200 block of East Church Street.

Law enforcement responded to a report of an injured person at 12:53 a.m. after Parker's girlfriend called police and said she had shot her boyfriend, according to a news release from the Edna Police Department. When they arrived, authorities found Parker, an Air Force veteran, dead in the home.

A .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol was recovered from the bed nearby. After Darren Stancik, Jackson County justice of the peace, pronounced Parker dead at the scene, he ordered an autopsy that will occur Wednesday in Travis County.

Edna Police Department officials did not release the woman's name Tuesday because the investigation is ongoing. The woman was not arrested as of Tuesday night.

Veteran Mike Allen, 44, of Victoria, has been a close friend of Parker's for about two years and works at the Crossroads Area Veteran Center. Parker frequently volunteered at the center, Allen said.

He said Parker recently left the military and served as an investigator and in security forces for the U.S. Air Force. Allen said he thinks Parker was in the military for about 10 years.

Parker was also an Iraq war veteran.

Parker helped too many veterans for Allen to count and was always a phone call away, he said.

"I got off the phone today with 50-something people that said he had touched their lives," Allen said Tuesday.

Parker and his girlfriend had been together for about a year, Allen said, and she had three children that Parker treated as his own.

"I haven't met her," he said. "They seemed like a happy couple on Facebook. I just talked to him last week. He came to my office and hung out for 30 minutes to an hour. He didn't say anything about any problems that they were having or anything like that."

Parker worked part-time for Trey Ganem, owner of Trey Ganem Designs, a casket design business in Edna.

Ganem opened his business three years ago, and Parker was there to help him from the beginning, he said. As prior business manager, Parker would always go out of his way to satisfy customers and make sure the business ran smoothly.

Ganem said the couple went to the business' Christmas party together.

Tuesday's shooting left neighbors uneasy because it was the second gun-related incident in the last month and a half in the area.

Anita Garza, 71, and her son David Garza, 48, who live in the 200 block of East Church Street, said they used to feel safe in their neighborhood, but now after two incidents, they don't anymore,

"This is the second one," Anita Garza said.

On Jan. 5 in the 300 block of South East Street, Jackson County EMS responded to a report of a gun shot. A woman was asleep with a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol under her pillow, according to a police report. The gun discharged, injuring the woman's hand and head.

The two incidents are not related, said Edna Police Chief Clinton Wooldridge.

Both Garzas were awake between midnight and 1 a.m. Tuesday, but neither heard anything out of the ordinary.

"I didn't hear anything," said David Garza, who did not know Parker or his girlfriend. "I don't know which house it was or anything like that. I didn't see any lights or anything."

The Garzas didn't learn about the shooting until Anita Garza's daughter who works for a Jackson County justice of the peace called and told her.

Parker won't be forgotten by his fellow veterans, Allen said.

"That's the kind of guy he was," he said. "He was willing to sit down with any vet, listen, offer advice and give them his personal cellphone number."


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