A Texas man suspected of fatally shooting six people in two cities could have been arrested for cutting off an ankle monitor if a new state law had been put in place just a month later, the Associated Press reports. In August, instead of being arrested, Shane James Jr. was left with his family while naked and yelling obscenities at deputies from his barricaded bedroom. The law that was put in place a month later made cutting off an ankle monitor a state felony. “It is always possible that we could have done more,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said. “While we wish that the opportunity had presented itself to put hands on him there is no doubt in my mind that the deputies would have, had they safely been able to put hands on him.”
James had been arrested on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in January 2022 for attacking his parents and a sibling. The family later asked that he be released from jail. James cut off the ankle monitor the day after he was released in March 2022. At the time, cutting off an ankle monitor was just a parole violation. Deputies were called to James’ parents’ house because of his erratic behavior in August of this year. The law, which made tampering with an ankle monitor a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail, would not take effect until Sept. 1. Salazar said that while cutting off the ankle monitor was not a criminal offense at the time, their processes have changed since the new law went into effect. Now, the agency is notified when a suspect cuts off their ankle monitor, and the appropriate felony charges are filed.