Man accused of calling 911 on himself dies 1 month after being shot by Montgomery Co. deputies

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Man shot by Montgomery Co. deputies called 911 on himself, investigators say
Three bullet holes went through a neighbor's home during the shooting, not far from where a 6-year-old was sleeping. Neighbors recount the scary experience of when the fires were shot.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A man shot by Montgomery County sheriff's deputies after allegedly calling 911 on himself nearly a month ago died, the sheriff's office said in an update on Wednesday.

The shooting happened on Feb. 2. Officials identified the man killed as 68-year-old James Cross.

The video above is from a previous report.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and the deputies that were involved in this tragic incident," the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 'Tragic situation': Man shot by Montgomery Co. deputies called 911 on himself, investigators say

The shooting unfolded on Oak Crossing off Magnolia Boulevard -- not far from Magnolia Junior High.

Montgomery County investigators said a man at a house on Oak Crossing called 911 around 12:45 a.m. and said two men were outside, and one of them had a gun. Dispatch thought it was a burglary about to happen.

The man, later identified as Cross, reportedly made multiple pleas for deputies to hurry during the phone call -- saying he thought someone was going to get shot.

The caller gave a detailed description of what the man with the gun was wearing, according to deputies.

When two deputies arrived at the home, they saw a man matching the description and told him to drop the gun several times, the sheriff's office said.

Investigators said the man refused, pointed the gun at the deputies, and they both "feared for their lives" and fired, shooting Cross multiple times in the torso.

Investigators said the 68-year-old man accused of pointing a gun at deputies called 911 and gave a description of a man with a gun outside -- but the description was actually of himself.

"Everything happened, and it was 'boom, boom, boom, boom,' and it was five to seven rounds. It was a second and a half, and it was through," Edward Mackey, who lives at the home next door to the shooting, told ABC13.

Deputies later discovered that Cross was actually the one who called 911. The description he gave dispatchers was reportedly a description of himself. Investigators believe there were never any intruders outside.

"I have no idea why he would do something like that," said Linda Mackey, who also lives at the home next door. "I mean, he seemed like a nice man. Older man. And lived there with his son and daughter-in-law and seemed like everything was OK."

Investigators said Cross was going through a "mental health crisis," which may have contributed to what happened.

"Life overwhelms him sometimes, and that's a pretty surefire way of being able to die -- is call and report yourself and point a gun at a cop," Edward said.

Deputies said the man's family was asleep in the house the whole time and had no idea what was happening.

"It's a very strange situation. Not only is that subject now tragically injured, his family is going through the tragic situation," Steve Squier with MCSO said. "And then we also understand our deputies are now going to go through the mental status of having discharged a weapon and caused injury of this nature because of the way this person behaved. It's a tragic event that's affecting many, many people."

The investigation is ongoing, but the case will be presented to a Montgomery County grand jury once it's completed.

Neighbors showed ABC13 crews where three bullets from the shooting went into their home, not far from where a 6-year-old was sleeping.

Video from the scene shows the bullet holes in the siding and window of the home. Fortunately, no one inside was hurt.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office released the following statement regarding the stray bullets:

"We aware that during the shooting this morning a home located behind the incident scene was struck by bullets. No residents were injured. The Montgomery County Risk Management Office has been made aware of the damage. The Risk Management Office will assess the situation and take the appropriate action to remedy the homeowner's damage."

The deputies were wearing body cameras during the shooting. MCSO told ABC13 their policy prevents them from releasing bodycam video until a case is closed.