Man who claimed self-defense in neighbor’s death now charged with shooting girlfriend

A man who Fort Worth police say killed his neighbor in self-defense in March has been arrested in an unrelated shooting case, according to jail records.

Mark Jabben, 46, was booked Friday into the Tarrant County Jail on a charge of aggravated assault against a family member with a weapon.

A police report says officers were sent to the 1000 block of Sycamore Drive on May 10 regarding a woman who had been shot.

Court documents say the victim is Jabben’s girlfriend, Theresa Ryan, 56. When officers got to the home, an arrest warrant says, Jabben opened the door and was immediately asked where the gun was located.

Jabben gave officers the weapon and then said the shooting was an accident.

Ryan was found in the bedroom of the apartment lying on the bed, bleeding from her left shoulder. There were also two knots and blood on her head, police said.

An officer asked Ryan what happened and she responded, “He pointed a gun to my back,” the affidavit says.

“(Ryan) did not want to elaborate after that,” the affidavit says.

However, after being taken to the hospital by MedStar, Ryan said Jabben hit her with the gun twice before she was shot. The affidavit also says there were inconsistencies in Jabben’s story about what happened.

“I believe that (Jabben) intentionally shot her,” an officer said in the affidavit.

In the previous shooting, on March 25, police responded to a duplex in the 7600 block of John T. White Road. They found Kevin Battle lying on the ground in front of the suspected shooter’s door with a gunshot wound to the head. The medical examiner ruled Battle, 57, was shot twice.

Battle’s next-door neighbor, Jabben, was detained for questioning, police said.

“The detectives found that the victim and the suspect had been arguing for over a week, and that on the date of the shooting, Jabben made a comment to the victim’s grandson,” Officer Jimmy Pollozani said in an email to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Battle went to Jabben’s front door to confront Jabben about speaking to his grandson, and a very brief argument ensued. Battle is believed to have attempted to enter into Jabben’s residence during the argument, when Jabben fired three shots, striking Battle in the head.”

Police have said Battle wasn’t armed.

“Jabben was interviewed in reference to the shooting, but was released due to the self-defense claim and the physical evidence located at the scene which corroborated that claim,” Pollozani said.

Battle’s son, Kevin Battle II, said his father was holding the hand of his 5-year-old grandson when he was shot. He said he was able to see his father and son during the confrontation, but because of the duplex’s layout, could not see Jabben.

Jabben and Battle’s front doors are on the same wall about a foot apart, Battle II said.

After he saw his father fall to the ground, Battle II said, he grabbed his young son and ran to a neighbor’s house, where he called 911.

Battle II said that a week before the shooting, Jabben called his father by a racial slur. Battle II said a police report was made about the incident.

The Star-Telegram requested records from that call and found that there wasn’t a written report made by the officer who responded. However, according to the 911 call obtained by the newspaper, Jabben reported that he had been assaulted by Battle. When police got to the duplex, they downgraded the call from an assault to a disturbance.

No body camera footage or narrative of what happened that day is available, according to the police department’s records unit.

Kevin Battle II said his father’s relationship with the neighbor was up-and-down.

On April 3, homicide detectives met with the district attorney’s office. The DA agreed to present the case to a grand jury.

“The DA’s office agreed with detectives that Grand Jury review is the appropriate path moving forward with the case,” Pollozani said. “This is the same process and standards the Homicide Unit has followed in similar cases where self-defense claims can be corroborated by physical evidence.”

In the weeks following the shooting, Battle’s family and activists in the community protested in downtown Fort Worth at least twice. They demanded the district attorney bring charges against Battle.

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