Fort Worth quarrel on dogs concludes as one neighbor shoots the other dead, police say

·3 min read
Courtesy: McClatchy Co.

Separated by one property, they lived in houses on the same side of a street in the Como section of Fort Worth. Cathryn Lafitte had an ongoing dispute with JaMarlon Clardy over his dogs.

One week before she shot Clardy to death on Aug. 2, Lafitte reported to a third neighbor in the 5500 block of Goodman Avenue that Clardy hit her with a shovel, according to Fort Worth police. She also said a woman assaulted her at the same time. Police began an investigation.

The assault in Lafitte’s front yard was connected to her attempt to take photographs of Clardy’s dog, according to the account in an arrest warrant affidavit a Fort Worth Police Department Homicide Unit detective wrote in support of Lafitte’s arrest on suspicion of murder in Clardy’s death.

Lafitte told police she suffered two black eyes in the assault.

Seven days later, Lafitte told detectives Paul Vega and Tom O’Brien she shot her neighbor at her front door because Clardy lunged at her as he stood outside. Lafitte is 43 and Clardy was 45.

Vega wrote in the affidavit that a video of the encounter showed that Clardy had not lunged.

Clardy recorded on his cellphone his attempt to get a necklace he owned from Lafitte. He was with his girlfriend. The video shows Clardy knocking on her door before Lafitte cracks the door open, and Clardy asks her for his necklace back. The front door closes, reopens, and Lafitte is standing in the doorway pointing a gun at Clardy.

Multiple gunshots are heard.

“I did not observe [Clardy] lunge at the door, nor did he make any attempt to open the door,” Vega wrote in the affidavit.

Clardy’s girlfriend and Lafitte remained at the scene after the shooting.

Vega and O’Brien interviewed Lafitte.

She said she was at her home when she heard a knock at the door. Lafitte opened it and saw Clardy and a woman she did not know. Clardy said, “You hurt my neck,” then lunged at her. Lafitte grabbed her gun and shot “until she ran out.”

Lafitte told the detectives she did not see Clardy or his girlfriend with a weapon, there was no physical contact and no verbal threats, according to the affidavit. Lafitte said she fired upon the woman with Clardy as the woman ran away.

Lafitte said she had sent text messages to Clardy about the necklace at the direction of a Fort Worth police officer who was trying to find Clardy and arrest him on an outstanding warrant.

Clardy “bum rushed” her, Lafitte said, and she shot him because she was in fear for her life.

The detectives also interviewed Clardy’s girlfriend, whose name police redacted in the affidavit.

She said she went with Clardy to Lafitte’s house to retrieve a necklace taken from Clardy the week before.

Clardy knocked on Lafitte’s door, according to the affidavit’s description of her account.

It cracked open.

Then flung open.

Lafitte pointed a gun at Clardy and shot him.