An El Campo man stands accused of a blitz shooting, firing more than 20 rounds Friday, striking a woman in the face and hitting her boyfriend three times as they sat in a parked car.
Officers don’t know why 25-year-old Eric Dupree Perry Jr. walked up to the Chevrolet Cruze parked in the driveway of 714 McGrew just before 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, but they say he started shooting, then reloaded the weapon to continue his attack.
Perry, listed of 708 Roberts in El Campo, now faces six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of endangering a child (placing a child in imminent danger of injury).
Booked into the Wharton County Jail Sunday, a warrant for driving while intoxicated was also served against Perry. He remained in jail in lieu of $50,989 in bonds as of press time.
The primary victims, El Campoans Ross Zahradnik and his girlfriend Kayla DeLeon, didn’t know Perry, El Campo Police Department Detective Ryan Schaer told the Leader-News, but added there appeared to be a feud going on between Perry and the McGrew Street homeowner.
“They (Zahradnik and DeLeon) backed up into a friend’s driveway ... they went over to go hang out with the homeowner, but no one was there,” Schaer said.
They stopped, made a phone call and learned the homeowner was at his sister’s house.
They got ready to leave, police say, but then Perry walked out and started shooting from less than 15 yards away.
“There is no connection. They don’t know each other. It’s random as of right now,” Schaer said.
Perry told police, however, that the homeowner had stolen something from him.
Bullets also struck a home two doors down placing two small children in jeopardy. Thankfully, Schaer said, neither one was hurt.
Zahradnik and DeLeon survived the attack, driving themselves to the hospital in a bullet-ridden car, one tire shredded down to the rim.
He was struck in the thigh, wrist and hand. It is believed he was treated at El Campo Memorial Hospital, but privacy laws allow the release of little, if any, information.
DeLeon was hit in the face and chest, suffering major damage. She was treated at the scene before a helicopter ambulance was called to take her to the waiting doctors at the Memorial Hermann trauma center in Houston.
One of the victims was able to provide police with information which led to tracking down Perry who later agreed to come to the police station to do an interview.
At that point, Perry was held on a misdemeanor warrant while a search was conducted of the home where Perry was staying. Officials were able to retrieve the unusual 10 mm handgun they say Perry used along with a green laser sight.
Perry was charged with aggravated assault rather than attempted murder to ease in the prosecution of the case.
“The penalty is the same. They are both of second degree felonies,” Schaer said, but added with aggravated assault, the department does not have to include evidence of Perry’s intent.
The penalty for a second degree felony in Texas, if convicted, is two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
“We have a really good case against him,” Schaer said. “I have to credit the community, they really came out ... It’s amazing how fast (a case is solved) when the whole community comes together.”