A Black family in Fort Worth, Texas, said that for the past year, they have been the victims of racial harassment at the hands of their white neighbor. That neighbor is now accused of fatally shooting a member of the family and is charged with murder.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that 54-year-old Edward James Murray was arrested on Sept. 28 and charged with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection to the killing of 39-year-old Antonio Edward Robinson.
Robinson lived with his girlfriend, Ashley Lacy, and three children ages 9, 3 and 2. According to the family, Murray—who is a registered sex offender convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety—moved in the duplex within the last year and had been harassing the family ever since.
“When our door was open, you could hear him (Murray) yelling at us,” Lacy said, the Telegram reports. “It got to the point that we just kept the door closed.”
“We had issues with him from day one,” Lacy told investigators. “It was always these little things such as yelling at us. He wouldn’t step in our house, but if our door was open, he would scream at us.”
She also said Murray repeatedly used racial slurs when he saw Robinson or his family.
Here’s what happened in late September based on the warrant written by Fort Worth Detective K.M. Bickley and interviews with Robinson’s family members, according to the Telegram:
At about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Murray walked by Lacy and Robinson’s home and made the comment, “Got this (expletive) in front of my door, stupid Black (expletives,)” according to the warrant.
Minutes later, Murray returned and continuously banged on Robinson’s front door until the Fort Worth man stepped outside, and said, “What the (expletive), Eddie!” the warrant stated. Lacy followed her boyfriend outside.
Within seconds, Murray pulled out a silver revolver and opened fire. Lacy believed Murray was about to shoot her, so she went back inside of the residence.
Murray left the scene, while Lacy went back outside to give Robinson aid. While she was outside, Lacy said she saw Murray exit his duplex and he again pointed the gun at her, according to the warrant.
Murray’s boyfriend yelled at him to leave and they got into Murray’s truck and drove away.
Lacy said she begged Murray’s boyfriend to call police but he ignored her and made no attempts to render aid, according to the warrant.
At some point, Lacy got towels for Robinson’s gunshot wounds, but she had to ask her 9-year-old son to hold them on the wounds while she talked to the dispatcher.
“A 9-year-old shouldn’t have to be doing that,” Lacy said as she cried.
When they arrived shortly after 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Fort Worth police found Robinson with gunshot wounds to his chest. He was found lying outside of his home, according to the police report.
He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:16 p.m. Sunday, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s website.
In addition to the murder and assault charges, Murray is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, according to Tarrant County Jail records.
So if all accounts are true, Murray is a racist convicted sex offender who left a family grieving and traumatized yet another 9-year-old child after shooting a man for no reason with a gun he couldn’t legally carry. This all leaves one question: Why was he granted bail?
According to the Telegram, Murray was being held at the jail on a $160,000 bond. It’s unclear whether he’s still in lock-up or if he actually bonded out, but Robinson’s family has expressed concerns that bail was ever even an option.
“If the tables were turned and a Black man with the same record had committed this crime against a white man and fled the scene, he would undoubtedly be completely denied bail,” Monique Robinson, Antonio’s sister-in-law said in an interview, according to the Telegram. “This is a travesty of justice.”
Lacy said in an interview that she and her children moved out of their home out of fear that Murray could get out on bail and return to the neighborhood. She also said she and Robinson had tried moving away in the past but couldn’t due to the pandemic.
“He didn’t deserve this,” Lacy said. “We tried moving away but COVID stopped all that. Now it’s too late.”