Fort Worth man pleads guilty in murder of teenage bystander

Posted Monday, Nov. 26, 2012  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- Calvin Wayne Thomas, 18, pleaded guilty today for his role in the murder of Justin Austin, 20. Thomas received an eight-year prison sentence.

Thomas, of Fort Worth, was arrested May 25, 2011, after a woman told police that suspected gang members had jumped her 15-year-old son.

The woman said when she told the boys suspected of fighting with her son that she intended to call the police, one of them threatened to "shoot this place" and "run you out of here."

Several hours later, police say gunmen fired shots at the woman's residence, killing Austin, a friend of another of the woman's sons. Police believe Thomas was one of the gunmen.

Officers responding to the shooting at the Village Creek Townhomes in the 2800 block of Briery Street on Oct. 28, 2010 found Austin dead inside the doorway of a residence with at least three gunshot wounds to the head, according to police.

The shooters had fled on foot.

Police suspect that the shooting stemmed from the earlier altercation involving the woman's son.

According to that police report, the boy was heading to a nearby park when he was jumped by three juveniles, causing bruising and swelling to his face.

While the boy was reluctant to give officers information, his mother told police the youths belonged to a gang, according to the report.

As a result, officers notified the gang unit who said that they would patrol the area, the report states.

The mother sent her son to a relative's house to avoid further conflict.

Another son arrived at the residence with Austin and two girls.

Austin and one of the girls were sitting on the front porch when an undetermined number of people approached the residence and shots rang out, police said. Police believe that the gunmen used at least two different firearms in the shooting, including a shotgun.

Austin was attempting to run inside when he was struck multiple times, police said.

This story includes material from the Star-Telegram archives

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3