‘I don’t know the truth,’ says mother of man shot to death in Arlington 2015 cold case

·3 min read

Charles “Chuck” Edward Harris Jr. would have turned 28 years old on Thursday.

But photographs and memories are all that his mother, Detroit Police Lt. Toniqua Davis, has these days of her son, who moved to Texas in 2014 to start a new life.

Less than eight months later, Harris was shot to death in Arlington, where he had made his home.

The 21-year-old Harris died from a gunshot wound to his abdomen, according to a ruling by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. His death was ruled a homicide.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Charles Harris was shot and killed in May 2015 in Arlington, Texas. No one has been arrested in his case.
Charles Harris was shot and killed in May 2015 in Arlington, Texas. No one has been arrested in his case.

“His younger brother had to go through counseling over this because Chuck was the one he would always go to,” Davis said Thursday in a telephone interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s heartbreaking.”

That’s why the Harris family continues to seek answers to what happened to Chuck Harris and who shot him.

On Thursday, family members said they are establishing a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Chuck Harris’ murder.

As of Thursday, the shooting death is still listed as a cold case in Arlington. Police investigators could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Harris’ great-aunt Mittie Jones of Beachwood, Ohio, said family members have been especially anxious about getting answers since the first story they were told about Chuck Harris’ death wasn’t what happened.

Initially, witnesses told Arlington police that Harris and friends were playing a pickup basketball game at Brantley Hinshaw Park with three strangers on May 3, 2015, when Harris and one of the unknown men got into a shoving match.

Witnesses said Harris and his friends were leaving about 6:45 p.m. when the man involved in the shoving match fired a shot from a handgun in their direction, striking Harris in the abdomen, before fleeing on foot.

The initial story was that Harris was taken by his friends from the park to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

A few days later, Arlington police even released a composite sketch of the shooter, asking for the public’s help in identifying him.

“That whole story turned out to be false,” Jones said Thursday in a telephone interview with the Star-Telegram. Jones lives in Beachwood, a suburb of Cleveland.

Weeks after Harris’ death, his mother was told by Arlington police that the shooting did not occur at the basketball court, but they did not provide her with any details as to the exact location.

Family members said they learned that Arlington detectives later found a bullet hole in Harris’ apartment, which he shared with two other people.

“They (the roommates) talked to me before I traveled down to Texas to get my son’s items,” Davis said. “But once I got there, I didn’t hear from them. And to this day, I haven’t talked to them.”

Harris had moved to Texas in 2014 from Detroit, seeking better job opportunities.

A high school friend who had recently moved to Texas with his family told Harris about better opportunities in the state.

He bought his airplane ticket in October 2014. He found work cleaning airplanes at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, and later worked security at AT&T Stadium.

Harris even got a birthday card from the Dallas Cowboys, his mother said Thursday.

“He called me every two days,” Davis said in a May 2015 interview with the Star-Telegram. “He was the happiest I’ve heard him. He was doing good. He was making plans for the future.”

Chuck Harris’ funeral was held in Michigan, just days after he was shot to death.

“The issue is that I don’t know the truth,” his mother said Thursday. “I could not be there for my son.”

If you have information on the Harris case and wish to remain anonymous, call Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477.