Fort Worth

Suspect arrested in slaying of Fort Worth minister

Taifiq “Tai” Forney, 36, of Forest Hill with his wife, Natasha. He died on Sept. 20 after he was found wounded in a car on a Fort Worth street.
Taifiq “Tai” Forney, 36, of Forest Hill with his wife, Natasha. He died on Sept. 20 after he was found wounded in a car on a Fort Worth street. Courtesy

A Fort Worth man with a criminal history was again in custody Wednesday, accused in the September shooting death of a local minister.

Gary Ervin, 37, was in the Mansfield Jail. He is expected to be charged with murder in the killing of Taifiq “Tai” Forney, police said.

Fort Worth’s fugitive unit arrested Ervin about 11 a.m. Tuesday at his sister’s home in Fort Worth. Officers advised Ervin of his felony warrant and placed him under arrest without incident.

Police on Wednesday did not release any other details of the shooting.

“I was told that he cried when he was arrested,” said Tai Forney’s wife, Natasha, in a Wednesday telephone interview. “I don’t know him and my husband had never mentioned his name.”

Forney, 36, of Forest Hill, was found in his car shortly before 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 20 in the 5300 block of Kutman Court in Fort Worth. He was pronounced dead at 8:10 a.m. at John Peter Smith Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s website.

Forney, a minister with a passion for helping the homeless, suffered gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen.

“I think he was ministering to him when it happened,” Natasha Forney said Wednesday. “Police found shell casings outside of his car on some grass.”

Natasha Forney said police told her the suspect was known in the neighborhood.

“I just turned it all over to God,” Natasha Forney said. “I thought an arrest was going to take time because at first no one came forward with any information.”

In a September interview with the Star-Telegram, Natasha Forney said her husband was home at 5 a.m. on Sept. 20 but wasn’t there a few hours later.

Tai Forney moved to Fort Worth about three years ago from Roanoke, Va., relatives said.

He had worked for the Everman school district, at a UPS warehouse and at Applebee’s in Arlington, his wife said.

He made time to minister and volunteer in outreach programs for the needy of Tarrant County. He volunteered with the Tarrant Area Food Bank’s mobile food pantry in the Stop Six neighborhood of southeast Fort Worth.

He also volunteered and ministered at the Union Gospel Mission and the Salvation Army on East Lancaster Avenue.

Ervin, 37, was in jail Wednesday with bail set at $250,000.

He has been charged with eight crimes since 1996, according to Tarrant County criminal court records. The charges range from theft to drug possession. He was sentenced to five years in prison for a robbery in Fort Worth in 1998. He was last arrested in 2012, charged with criminal trespass in Arlington and was sentenced to a day in jail, according to court records.

This article includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763, @mingoramirezjr