Dallas, TX – Texas authorities on Nov. 20 arrested a man responsible for four murders and other random shootings in the Dallas area and have labeled him a “serial killer.”
A multi-agency manhunt led by the U.S. Marshal’s North Test Fugitive Task Force was launched last week after a series of apparently random shootings left four people dead in Dallas over a period of just a few days, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Police started connecting the dots on Wednesday after firefighters were called to a house fire in Celina, KHOU reported.
Witnesses told police they saw a man dressed in black with a backpack who ran away from the home and fled in a black Chevy Tahoe.
The body of Blair Carter was found inside the burned wreckage of the home, KHOU reported.
Police located 31-year-old Jeremy Harris and the Tahoe connected to the case in Ellis County the same day and arrested him, and that was just the beginning.
Court records showed that after Harris was arrested for Carter’s murder, Celina police got a critical tip that helped them break a much bigger case, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Arrest affidavits showed that police connected Harris to a whole series of crimes in the area using cell phone records.
Authorities believe that 19-year-old Robert “Jaden” Urrea, a student at Southern Methodist University (SMU), was Harris’ first victim, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Urrea was gunned down at about 3 a.m. on Oct. 31 as he was waiting for a ride near South Harwood and Jackson Streets in downtown Dallas.
The arrest affidavit for Harris said that a white Ford Taurus pulled up next to Urrea and appeared to have called him over to the car and shot him, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Surveillance cameras showed the car speeding away afterward with its headlights off, running red lights.
Then at 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, 36-year-old Adam Gautreau was panhandling on the service road of Interstate 35 near Empire Central when a black Chevy Tahoe with black rims pulled up and stopped, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Gautreau’s mother told WFAA that her son was summoned to the Tahoe and then someone inside the vehicle shot him multiple times.
Police said that just 40 minutes later, 57-year-old Kenneth Jerome Hamilton was found shot to death in the driver’s seat of his car in east Oak Cliff.
Witnesses said that gunman was driving a black Tahoe and shot Hamilton as he sat waiting at a red light, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The next incident under investigation in connection with Harris was an aggravated assault that occurred at about 12:40 a.m. on Nov. 16, but no details have been released about it.
On Nov. 17, a vehicle pulled up beside two women in a car on East University Drive in Denton and opened fire on them, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Police in Denton, located northwest of Dallas, said both women suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds in the attack.
Then the very next day, Carter was found dead inside a burning home in Celina, which is located north of Dallas, the Dallas Morning News reported.
After Harris was arrested for Carter’s murder on Nov. 18, police got a search warrant for his home.
The affidavit said officers found black rims for a Chevy Tahoe in Harris’ apartment, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Court records showed a neighbor told police that he’d seen Harris taking the black rims off and putting the stock rims back on the vehicle.
When officers searched the Tahoe, court records showed they found the remains of a destroyed handgun that would be linked to the shootings in the Dallas area, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Further detective work revealed that the white Ford Taurus driven by Urrea’s killer belonged to Harris’ girlfriend.
Court records showed that police located the Taurus in a repair shop on Nov. 19 and found a single spent shell casing under the passenger seat, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The affidavit said a witness told police that Harris had been driving the Taurus the night Urrea was killed.
Police said Harris and his girlfriend had a fight and he took her car for about four hours, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Dallas Police Deputy Chief Reuben Ramirez said investigators had determined that the shootings were committed by a “serial killer.”
Dallas Police Assistant Chief Avery Moore confirmed that assessment, the Dallas Morning News reported.
“We don’t believe there was any other motive than it was random,” Chief Moore told reporters.
Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall applauded the efforts of the task force that included several Dallas police officers, the Dallas Morning News reported.
“The knowledge that someone is randomly, with no real reason and reckless regard for human life, going around murdering individuals is a separate kind of fear,” Chief Hall explained.
Deputy Chief Ramirez called it “extraordinary” detective work, the Dallas Morning News reported.
“We really started to find the pieces,” he said. “Through collaboration with our federal partners, as well as the municipalities in this region… we really started to piece this thing together.”
Harris was being held at the Collin County Jail in lieu of a $3 million bond, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The investigation is ongoing and police have said they expected to link Harris to additional shootings.