x
Breaking News
More () »

Atlanta's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Atlanta, Georgia | 11alive.com

'Definition of a serial killer': Man arrested in Celina killing also accused of 3 Dallas homicides, police say

Jeremy Harris, 31, is accused in three random fatal shootings in Dallas, including the Halloween slaying of an SMU student.

This story has been updated throughout with additional information from police.

A Red Oak man accused of killing his former girlfriend’s father in Celina is also the suspect in a multi-week random shooting spree, including the deaths of an SMU student, a Dallas man in his car at a stoplight and a homeless man. 

Jeremy Harris, 31, is being held in the Collin County jail in lieu of $3 million bail on three charges of murder, including two from Dallas.

Dallas police announced Friday afternoon that Harris will also face a murder charge in the death of a Southern Methodist University student.

Police officials said Harris is linked to at least one other shooting in Dallas and possibly others in other cities.

RELATED: Timeline: Alleged serial killer accused in spree of shootings across Dallas-Fort Worth

Investigators checked social media and looked at shootings in other cities to make the connection to Harris. Police said he did not know the victims in Dallas.

"I believe this is the definition of a serial killer. It's random," said Deputy Chief Reuben Ramirez.

Dallas police officials said Harris appears to have acted alone, calling him a "lone shooter."

Though Harris has a criminal history, he has not been accused of the types of aggravated assaults and slayings he's now linked to, police said. It's unclear what prompted the shootings.

"It is extremely unusual for someone to just go on a shooting spree," Ramirez said.

Dallas police said Harris may be connected to other shootings before this past weekend.

"We do suspect he may be responsible for other offenses. We're investigating those now but we don't want to reveal those just yet," said Assistant Chief Avery Moore.

Receipts were found in Harris' home showing that a Ruger 9mm handgun was bought on Nov. 11. A Taurus 9mm was bought on Nov. 16, according to arrest warrant affidavits.

Two men were killed within a 30-minute period on Nov. 14 in Dallas. Another person was shot, but survived, in Dallas on Nov. 16. Police said shootings in other cities occurred Nov. 17, and a man was killed in Celina on Nov. 18.

Police believe all the cases are connected to Harris.

Slayings in Celina, Dallas

On Wednesday morning, authorities responded to a fire at a home in Celina. Inside, firefighters found the body of Blair Carter. Witnesses told police that they saw a man dressed in black running from the home and carrying an unknown object.

Police found Harris and a vehicle in Ellis County, where he was taken into custody Wednesday evening.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 31, 19-year-old Robert Jaden Urrea was shot and killed while he was out celebrating Halloween near the Statler Hotel in Downtown Dallas.

RELATED: $25K cash reward offered in shooting investigation of 19-year-old SMU student

Police have said Urrea’s killing was random and unprovoked. Surveillance video showed a white four-door car, possibly a Ford with a sunroof and custom wheels.

Dallas police said on Friday that the vehicle was owned by Harris' girlfriend.

She told investigators that they were in an altercation earlier that day and he was gone with her vehicle for about four hours. That's when police believe he shot Urrea.

An arrest warrant affidavit shows that Harris was involved in a wreck hours later in a Ford Taurus that matches the description of the vehicle used in Urrea's killing.

Investigators linked that vehicle to Harris this week. During a search of the car, police found a fired cartridge under the passenger seat.

Officials said the Ford belongs to Harris' girlfriend, who told police that he assaulted her, took the car and was gone for several hours around the time Urrea was killed.

Around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, 36-year-old Adam Gautreau was shot and killed while panhandling at the intersection of Empire Central Drive and North Stemmons Freeway. Police released video of a black Tahoe connected to the case.

About 30 minutes later, 57-year-old Kenneth Hamilton was shot and killed at a stoplight as he drove home at South Beckley Avenue and Clarendon Drive. Surveillance video shows a black Tahoe pulled beside Hamilton’s car and then drive off.

Hamilton, a father, grandfather and husband, died at the hospital a short time later.

Evidence links Harris to shootings

Harris is also a suspect in a shooting that occurred Monday in which a black SUV pulled up behind a man’s car on East Grand Avenue and began shooting. The driver of the car was injured but survived the shooting. 

Surveillance footage showed the three in Dallas involved a black Chevrolet Tahoe with black rims and tinted windows. And, the type of gun used to kill Gautreau was the same as the one used to kill Hamilton, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. 

The gun used in the slayings also matches the weapon used in the shooting on Grand Avenue, records show. 

The Dallas detective learned that Harris was arrested while he was in a black SUV. That SUV did not have black rims, but a set of black rims were found inside Harris' apartment, the warrant says. 

A neighbor told police that Harris took the black rims off the Tahoe a couple days before he was arrested, police records show. 

Investigators believe "Harris removed the tires and put the stock tires and rims back on the SUV so that it would not be noticed," the warrants say. 

During a search of the Tahoe, Celina investigators found a 9mm handgun that had been "destroyed and burned," records show. 

Timeline of shootings: 

  • 2:56 a.m. Oct. 31: Robert Jaden Urrea is killed in Downtown Dallas 
  • 8:33 p.m. Nov. 14: Adam Gautreau is killed along Stemmons Freeway at Empire Central Drive in Dallas
  • 9:02 p.m. Nov. 14: Kenneth Hamilton is killed on South Beckley Avenue in Dallas.
  • 1:10 a.m. Nov. 16: A 36-year-old man is injured in a shooting on East Grand Avenue in Dallas. Police believe Harris is connected.
  • 9:50 p.m. Nov. 17: A person is shot on Lebanon Road in Frisco. Police are investigating whether Harris is connected.
  • 10:39 p.m. Nov. 17: Two 20-year-old women are shot in a drive-by on University Drive. Denton police said Harris is the suspected shooter.
  • 11:10 a.m. Nov. 18: Firefighters respond to a house fire on Anvil Drive in Celina. Blair Carter, 60, is found dead inside the home after the fire was extinguished.