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Suspect in last week's shooting turns himself in

James Carlos Reed was arrested Monday in connection to last week's shooting at the intersection of Mingo Road and Bell Avenue.

Accompanied by his attorney Richard Gladden, the 23-year-old Denton man turned himself in at the Denton Police Department at about 5 p.m. He was booked into Denton City Jail on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony.

James Carlos ReedDenton County Records
James Carlos Reed
Denton County Records

Reed is accused of shooting a 26-year-old Lewisville man, who Gladden identified as Tyler Trace Searcy, at the intersection of Mingo Road and Bell Avenue at about 6:40 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7 . Searcy also goes by the last name Purvey, according to public records.

Police said Searcy and Reed had been driving southbound on Mingo Road before the shooting. Searcy was driving a late-model Jaguar XF, while Reed drove a small sedan. When they approached the stop light at Bell Avenue, police said Reed fired a gun toward Searcy's vehicle, striking him at least twice.

Searcy's vehicle then veered left and struck the metal fence at Massey Auto Sales Service & Parts. The suspect fled the scene.

Gladden said the incident started after Searcy threatened his client and his family outside a home they were occupying in Denton. He said Searcy sent Reed threatening text messages moments before the shooting.

"He was threatening to kill my client and the mother of his child," Gladden said, adding that Reed has two children.

Tyler Trace SearcyDenton County Records
Tyler Trace Searcy
Denton County Records

Searcy was still being treated at Medical City Denton late last week, but neither hospital officials nor police could confirm whether he had been released or transferred as of Monday.

Denton police Sgt. Danny Fletcher said he could not confirm whether any threats had been made before the shooting. He said investigators haven't been able to speak to Searcy because of the severity of his injuries. Searcy's jaw has been wired shut, and he spent the first couple of days after the shooting in the intensive care unit, police said.

While Searcy has been communicating through writing, Fletcher said police can't conduct a thorough interview yet.

"What the scope of the argument or disagreement or issue is, I can't tell you because I don't know until we have a good interview with our victim," Fletcher said.

According to Gladden, Reed left the home in north Denton after Searcy threatened him. Armed with a gun, Searcy followed Reed in his Jaguar, Gladden said.

Gladden, a well-known local defense attorney, said his account of the circumstances leading up to the shooting came from Reed and eyewitnesses who were at the intersection of Mingo and Bell.

"My client left in his vehicle, and Purvey was chasing him," Gladden said. "And Purvey, as soon as he'd come up alongside him, he would stick a gun out of his window."

Fletcher said he wasn't aware of what happened while both men were driving because police haven't found witnesses who saw that exchange.

"There were no eyewitnesses that could testify to any of that," Fletcher said.

After a wounded Searcy crashed his car into the nearby car lot, Gladden said Searcy tossed his gun underneath a nearby PT Cruiser.

Fletcher said he could not confirm whether police recovered a gun at the scene.

"Anything Searcy told us, we're trying to verify or fact-check ourselves until he can actually talk and give us a formal statement —  where we can dispute or confront him about inconsistencies," Fletcher said.

After the crash, Searcy was taken to Medical City Denton. The hospital was subsequently placed on lockdown for the next "couple of days," according to Dana Benton Long, the hospital's public relations director.

Long said the hospital is typically placed on lockdown when a shooting suspect is at large and the victim is a patient. Lockdown essentially involves heightened security measures on the campus.

The hospital did not receive any threats that prompted the lockdown, she said.

"It's a normal procedure of ours," she said.

Records show Reed is serving probation for four charges: driving with an invalid license with previous convictions, evading arrest, possession of marijuana and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Meanwhile, Searcy has two active arrest warrants for resisting arrest and possession of between 2 and 4 ounces of marijuana. He missed his scheduled court date at 8:30 a.m. Monday in Judge Jim Crouch's County Criminal Court 1, court coordinator Sharon Stuckly said.

JULIAN GILL can be reached at 940-566-6882.