A Wharton teen chose suicide over arrest Saturday when confronted by El Campo police in a convenience store parking lot.
Jakob Tyler Gentry, 18, of 1411 E. Boling Hwy. had been wanted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, accused of firing multiple shots near the intersection of Main and Lundy around noon Tuesday, Dec. 14. The two teens he allegedly exchanged gunfire with have already been arrested.
Police spotted Gentry in a Chevrolet Uplander van pulling into Speedy Stop, 502 N. Mechanic, shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday. Knowing Gentry had an outstanding warrant, the officer made contact as one of three adult passengers went inside the store.
“When he asked (Gentry) to show his hands, he didn’t quite comply,” Police Chief Gary Williamson said.
The officer drew his weapon, moved to near the back of the van and called for backup, continuing to request Gentry show his hands. “They heard a shot,” Williamson said.
Gentry had fired a single round into his head, a shot fired from a stolen gun.
The other two van passengers were “ordered out, but at first they did not comply. They were just frozen, just shocked,” ECPD Sgt. Ryan Schaer said, adding that after a moment both got out of the vehicle.
All three were questioned by police that night, none were arrested. “We asked all if (Gentry) ever talked about suicide. They said he never has before,” Schaer said. “His girlfriend (who was there) said he had talked about running, but that he never talked about shooting himself.”
Late at night, the only other witness was the store security system. No patrons were put at risk and all store employees were inside the building.
El Campo EMS were dispatched to the scene and worked to stabilize Gentry while a helicopter ambulance was summoned. He was flown to the trauma center at Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston. There, he was pronounced dead.
Just 18 years old, Gentry has already been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for his part in a 800 block of Monseratte Street drive-by shooting on June 19.
Placed on three years deferred probation and fined $500, Gentry had since been arrested on Nov. 21 for possession of marijuana and a gram of Ecstasy along with criminal trespassing before a warrant for the Lundy Street shooting was issued.
All four El Campo police officers on the scene were wearing body cameras. “None discharged their weapon,” Williamson said.
Because guns were drawn, the department will do a Use Of Force Review. This practice requires a review of all actions by a superior officer who will determine if discipline, counseling or training is needed.
Friday, Dec. 18 for family violence with injuries and a City of Wharton warrant for no driver’s license. Processed, he posted $1,765 in bonds and was released the next day.
Lloyd Grissom Jr., 29, of 102 N. Hackberry in Sweeny was arrested by Wharton PD at 1:46 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20 for criminal nonsupport.