Arlington Police Accuse Man Of Murder, Intoxication Manslaughter

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Police have accused an intoxicated hit-and-run driver of causing a deadly accident before fatally shooting a man about a quarter mile from the initial wreck Wednesday afternoon.

The suspect, Arlington resident Thomas Lester Harper, 27, was driving a dark blue Chevy Tahoe north on Collins St. at about 1:40 p.m. with his two children in the backseat when he hit a pair of cars at Washington Ave.

Harper fled the wreck at a high rate of speed and eventually barreled into a grey pickup truck at the intersection of Collins St. and Brown Blvd. The man who was rear-ended died at the scene, department spokeswoman Tiara Richard said.

Another man then approached the suspect’s wrecked vehicle. Harper revealed a handgun and opened fire, striking and killing the man as he walked toward the Tahoe, Richard said.

Police arrived and removed the suspect from his SUV. He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Richard said. Harper is facing charges of murder, one count of intoxication manslaughter, one count of manslaughter and two counts of endangering a child. He is being held in the Arlington City Jail without bond, jail records show.

The initial collision happened at 1:40 p.m. The shooting occurred less than 10 minutes later.

In addition to the deaths, two others were taken to local hospitals after the “complex accident.”

crash baby Arlington Police Accuse Man Of Murder, Intoxication Manslaughter

(credit: Crash Witness)

There were two “toddler age” children in the suspect’s Tahoe. Arlington PD spokeswoman Tiara Richard confirmed that a twin boy and girl belonging to the suspect were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“I see about a 2-year-old little girl, a baby, with blood all over her,” said eyewitness Billy Ray Vaughan. “She comes out of the top of the car; follows next to her looked like her little brother he was about two [years old]. She’s crawling next to the car.”

Vaughan said he ran to take the children away from the scene when he heard a gunshot.

“He fired the gun and we hit the ground and one of the little kids on the driver’s side actually fell out of the window and crawled across the street until one of the witnesses picked him up,” Vaughan said.

The children were taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center and are expected to fully recover.

Witnesses at the scene told KRLD NewsRadio 1080 that a dark colored Chevy Tahoe was speeding, possibly in excess of 100 mph, down Collins St. The witness said the SUV slammed into several other vehicles and then, “Before I can get over to the car another lady is running up to see if he’s okay and the dude pulls out a gun and shoots,” eyewitness Jason King said.

KRLD’S Chuck Schechner reports: 

The victims have not been identified. Authorities said their families have not been told.

Police closed Collins to traffic while they surveyed the crime scene. Dozens of police squad cars and emergency vehicles quickly descended upon the location. There are reports that fire crews had to use machinery to remove some people from vehicles.

“At this point, there’s no indication there’s anyone else at large,” said Christopher Cook, Arlington PD spokesman. “We’re still trying to work through the exact details, interview witnesses and determine what transpired first.”

The crime scene remained active more than five hours after the incident. Any other witnesses are asked to call Arlington Police at 817.459.5600.

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  • Fort Worth Proud

    Jesus Christ, Arlington is such a cesspool. It’s the Detroit of North Texas. Total armpit of a city. It slid downhill at an exponential rate, starting in the late 90’s. I wouldn’t live there or work there if I was offered a million dollars.

    • Cierra

      You can’t just say things like that. Terrible stuff happens everywhere. Crime is getting worse no matter where you go. I live in Dallas. It’s just as bad.

      • Fort Worth Proud

        Shut up, idiot. I can say whatever I want. We are all entitled to our opinions, you Nazi. BTW, Dallas is also a total s#ithole. I feel sorry for you that you live there.

    • sam

      really you think so….and you live in Fort Worth …lol

      Look around you ..idiot

      • Fort Worth Proud

        I live in MIRA VISTA.

    • Arlington's Deodorant

      If only we could all live in Fort Worth Proud’s incredibly crime-free area of Fort Worth. Why, just the other dry, I drove by Mr. Proud’s fanciful residence and spotted a pair of Unicorns drinking from a golden lagoon. I chanced upon a Fairy Princess who granted me a wish, but apparently it did not come true, as my wish was for Fort Worth Proud to stop making an ass of himself. Cheers to you, Adolph..

    • Gumby Rules

      Good, stay out, we don’t need you here at all; you would just diminish the quality of the citizenry.

    • NiteNurse

      I know…I live here. I think it’s because of all the stuff that goes on in the particular area (lots of bars, places to eat, the stadium, ballpark, and six flags).
      I 30 is also a major hub between the two major cities. Not to deny the shootings and the crash could be Arlington citizens. I kinda had a feeling when the city allowed the Cowboys to come that trouble would follow. More business, more activity, more crime. BTW stay off I 30 if at all possible it’s highway death in my opinion.

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  • Leisa Neal

    Your reporters can’t even get the make of the vehicles right. It’s right on the side of the car, TAHOE. She keeps saying “escalade” on the air. Terrible reporting.

    • 2sister

      Leisa, there were so many cars involved that it’s no wonder they made a mistake. This man hit two cars before his final crash. the final crash apparently ended up in an eight car pile-up. I go this information from another news source. it’s possible that one of the other wrecked cars was escalade. In any case the comment page of the stories is not the best page to try and get them to correct mistakes. It’s probably better to contact them through their contact section. The comment page needs to be used to comment about how horrible and sad this crime was.

    • Julia

      And there were SIX vehicles involved in the accident. How do you know one was not an Escalade?!

    • Shut Up, Loser

      Who cares about the makes of the vehicles? You’re a pinhead. OCD, anyone?

    • Ura Moron

      Yeah, those are the details we need – not a body tally or the account of the story, but the MAKE of the vehicles involved. Dummkopf.

      • forgetaboutit

        LMAO LOL LOL

  • forgetaboutit

    Now how did I guess right the shooter was belligerant……..

    • Beth

      Sad and tragic all the way around. I want to say lethal injection,period. I cant imagine what all of them are going thru,but forgivness is very very hard when something like this happens,but everyone has to feel what they think is best for them.

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  • Kendra Calvin


  • Joel

    I have lived in Arlington since 1975 and it has been a great place to live and raise a family. The propblem with Arlibngton stems from extremely poor leadership during the 70’s and 80’s. The city was controlled by real estate developers who built anything they wanted anywhere they wanted. There is an extremly high concentration of old apartments built during that itme in the area where this tragedy occurred. I see the same type of development in Plano it’s just newer!
    I hope FW proud never has a flat after dark in the Woodhaven neighborhood of his almighty Fort Worth!

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  • LORD bless us all

    So sad and to think him commenting all that foolery thinks he better in any kind of way…F.W is a mess too….my heart goes out to the families who loved one didn’t make it home, the world needs prayer, he has a higher power to answer to I broke down wen I saw this……I’m not a evil person but this just makes me want to put a gun to his head and take him out

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