Family remembers man killed by homeowner as ‘gentle giant’

Police not pursuing charges against homeowner who killed man

Jared celebrating his birthday in March 2014. (Courtesy: James family)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of a man was shot and killed after he tried to get into a South Austin home on Monday morning says they are shocked and are still trying to figure out how the situation unfolded.

According to the James family, 24-year-old Jared James had autism and was living at the Educare Community Living Corp at 10202 Brantley Cove for the past year. His mother moved him to the Austin location from Baton Rouge so he could be closer to her since she is stationed as a Captain at Fort Hood. Jared’s sister, Erica, said her brother never had any incidents in home care and this was the first time he ran away from a facility.

“Gentle giant is a cliche, but that’s who he was,” said Erica. “He was a good person.”

According to police, a man who feared for his and his family’s safety shot and killed Jared after he started banging on the family’s door and was able to force his way into their home in the 10200 block of Brantley Bend.

A spokesperson for ResCare, the agency who manages the group home, said in a statement to KXAN News that Jared “became agitated and ran from the home. The staff member tried to follow, but could not convince him to return. She went inside to check on the other residents and when she went back outside, police were there and informed her of what happened.”

Austin police said they are not pursuing charges against the homeowner at this time and that the case will be reviewed by the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, which is standard procedure.

Status of Educare Community Living Corp

According to a spokesperson for the Department of Aging and Disability Services, Educare Community Living Corp. is a licensed ICS (intermediate care facility) for individuals who have intellectual and developmental disability.

“When something this tragic occurs it definitely does bring this subject to the attention of people,” said DADS spokesperson Cecilia Cavuto.

On Monday evening, DADS placed the facility in immediate jeopardy. In this case, the facility is required to take action right away to fix the situation, which they did.

“The reason for the immediate jeopardy was because the staff had not been trained on how to react to behavioral issues,” said Cavuto, “And then they didn’t know how to access the resident records. That is very important because each patient’s need is very individualized so each resident is going to have specific needs and if staff doesn’t have access to records that’s a big problem.”