Kountze PD seeks killer in fatal shooting

Lumberton man pronounced dead at convenience store parking lot.

By Daniel Elizondo, Editor

A Lumberton man is dead following a fatal shooting that was sparked by what police say was a botched drug deal.

James Steven Clem, 27, was pronounced dead at the Shop-N-Go convenience store on Highway 69 in Kountze, suffering from a single gunshot wound to the shoulder at around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

According to Kountze Police Chief Brent Slaughter, Clem and two females, one being his common-law wife, were near a vacant home at the corner of 4th Street and Beech Street in Kountze to purchase drugs in an F-150 pickup extended cab pickup.

During the deal, one male attempted to take the money from Clem, who was driving the pickup, and fired one round of a 40 caliber pistol that struck the driver in the left shoulder, police said.

The driver slumped over, and Clem’s common-law wife jumped into the driver position of the truck and drove erratically hitting a bush that caused minor damage to the pickup, a press release read.

The woman drove the truck three blocks to the convenience store on Highway 69 before calling 911 emergency.

Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace TJ Hall pronounced Clem dead at the scene.

Kountze officer Matt Wonders and Hardin County Sheriff’s deputies investigated the scene and found 5.3 grams of crystal methamphetamine in the pickup.

Kountze officers later combed the area near 4th Street and Beech Street following tips from witnesses, and found one shell casing from a 40 caliber.

Slaughter said JP Hall has issued a warrant for the arrest of the shooter.

The shooting comes less than a year ago when Jasmine Laquinta Powell was killed as a result of a fatal shot to the head from a domestic dispute on June 2, 2014 at 130 Pecan Street in Kountze.

“The community comes together to help stop all the petty crimes,” said Slaughter. “But when this happens, it does rock everyone.”

Police say they expect to make an arrest soon.


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