A west Fort Worth neighborhood is in shock after one of its residents was murdered during a break-in early Sunday morning.
According to Fort Worth police, officers arrived at the 2900 block of Cortez Drive around 2 a.m. Sunday for a burglary call.
When officers entered the home, they found one man was dead and another seriously injured.
A police report said James Bowling, 56, was killed at the home and Don Keaton, 82, was injured. Sgt. Raymond Bush said Keaton suffered numerous blunt force injuries in the break-in.
As more officers arrived to the location, they found a suspect in a vehicle around the corner from the home. The police report identifies Miguel Hernandez, 29, as the man arrested at the scene. The report shows Hernandez was arrested for five outstanding warrants.
Hernandez is in the Mansfield Jail on those warrants, one of which includes a parole violation.
Hernandez is a suspect, but has not yet been charged. Homicide detectives are investigating.
Residents on Cortez Drive describe Bowling and Keaton as two kind, quiet neighbors who took pride in their yard and home’s appearance.
Kyle Conley lives next door to the men and said everyone in the neighborhood is overwhelmed by what happened.
“We can’t grasp the reality of what’s happened, it’s so close to home,” Conley said.
Conley said he was asleep at the time of the break-in and murder.
“It’s been tough to deal with, a close neighbor has passed and the manner in which he died is hard to deal with,” he said.
Conley said he regularly calls police about suspicious vehicles in the neighborhood. He said his street has stayed safe over the 30 plus years his family has owned the home, but that crime on nearby Las Vegas Trail has impacted the area. Conley is relieved that a suspect is in custody.
“I wish more, rather than him being in custody, I wish that it was him that was at Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, rather than Mr. Bowling,” Conley said.
Bowling worked for White Settlement Independent School District at Brewer High School as a custodian. On Tuesday morning the district provided NBC 5 with a statement regarding Bowling's death.
"We are all shocked and saddened by the loss of our team member. James will always be remembered as a hard worker with a friendly smile and willingness to help with anything to better Brewer High School. We are glad we had the opportunity to get to know him the last five years. He will be terribly missed by all of us. Our prayers are with his family and friends."
Bowling was named support staff member of the month last September. An announcement on the high school's website said Bowling the heart of the school who would do anything for anyone in need on the campus.
Keaton is in a hospital recovering, his condition is not known.