Stephenville police arrested a man Thursday night who they say shot a 19-year-old Tarleton State University student.
Shawn Patrick Layton, 26, was taken into custody about 10 p.m. and booked into the Erath County Jail charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second degree felony.
Police were dispatched to Oak Tree Apartments shortly after 1 a.m. Monday after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a resident reporting that they heard cries for help.
When they arrived on scene, they found Jamie Richards, 19, shot in the face inside her apartment.
According to the arrest affidavit, Richards was able to tell investigators that when she opened the door to her apartment, a man shot her in the head.
In a subsequent interview she told investigators the suspect was wearing black clothing and a black, shiny mask.
Investigators eventually determined the shooting was a case of mistaken identity.
A fellow resident of the apartment complex, Jeremy Lau, told police that he was a marijuana dealer and believed that he had been the intended victim.
“Lau believed that he was the target of the shooting and that Layton had mistakenly knocked on the wrong apartment door,” the affidavit states.
Investigators received a search warrant for Layton’s residence on West Hyman Street where he reportedly made comments like “I didn’t do it” and “Y’all think I shot that girl, right?”
A search of Layton’s home yielded several loaded cartridges that matched the make, type and caliber of the shell casing found next to Richards’ head, as well as a shiny, black mask and dark clothing.
Stephenville Police Chief Jason King said Thursday night that he is relieved Layton has been taken into custody.
“This was an absolutely awful and horrendous crime perpetuated on Ms. Richards,” King said. “I am extremely proud of our officers and investigators and the work they did to bring him to justice.”
Richards remains in critical condition at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
A gofundme account has been setup for Richards to help with medical expenses at www.gofundme.com/help-jamie-richards-heal.
"(Jamie) has an extremely challenging recovery ahead. We feel extremely blessed that Jamie is alive. She will need the support of her family and friends more than ever," Johnie Hogland wrote on the webpage. "We are so proud of Jamie and how she has flourished as student at Tarleton State University. She has excelled in her studies, worked for the University, and experienced the most rewarding parts of student life."