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Man dies when Grand Prairie birthday party turns deadly

The birthday party of a Grand Prairie man, who will turn 22 on Tuesday, turned deadly late Sunday when, according to police, he fatally shot his mother's boyfriend after drinking and arguing.

Christopher Lee Heck was in the Grand Prairie jail Monday morning, facing charges of first degree murder in the death of 36-year-old Donald Lee Cates, said Detective John Brimmer, police spokesman.

Police were called to the incident at 11:45 p.m. at a home in the 400 block of NW 20th Street, Brimmer stated in a news release.

"Witnesses stated that an altercation took place between Cates and Heck which resulted in Cates hitting Heck in the mouth and breaking his tooth," Brimmer said. "Heck then entered the house and armed himself with a .380-caliber pistol.

He then went outside, confronted Cates who was unarmed, and shot him multiple times in the chest and head. Both subjects had been drinking, Brimmer said.

About 45 minutes later, Brimmer said, officers found Heck on 19th Street near Interstate 30, which is a few blocks north of where the shooting happened.

He was arrested without incident, Brimmer said.

"The pistol was recovered at the shooting scene," he said. "Investigators plan to file first-degree murder charges with the Dallas County District Attorney. First-degree murder is punishable by five to 99 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine."

Brimmer said Heck would be transferred to a Dallas County jail some time on Monday.

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