Much attention has been focused on what caused a non-violent offender like James Edward Jones (33) to shoot a Smith County deputy during a botched escape Thursday.
The incident left veteran Deputy Carolyn Hudson in East Texas Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the leg. The alleged perpetrator, James Edward Jones, was shot by another deputy when he refused to put his gun down.
"None of James Edward's prior offenses were violent in anyway," recalls his sister-in-law Catherine Jones. Catherine expressed her family's deep sympathy for Deputy Carolyn Hudson Friday afternoon.
"We are all terribly saddened and are constantly praying for Officer Hudson and any other officers involved in the episode," she says. "I have family in law enforcement, and I can see both sides of the situation."
What confuses the family is how James Edward Jones could jump from minor crimes, like DWI and theft, to allegedly shooting an officer. Catherine says while the family is not making excuses for James Edward, they are trying to figure out what pushed him so far.
"With him having a new baby, a fiance and trying to get his life back on track, I believe it was an act of desperation," she says.
Catherine wonders if the violent outbreak resulted from James Edward knowing his latest offense could put him behind bars for awhile.
"He has escaped once before, and I don't really know the circumstance of how that happened," recalls Catherine. "But he would certainly be a flight risk."
The Jones family is not allowed to visit or talk with James Edward, although a nurse did tell them he's in stable condition.