Suspect Thomas Lester Harper

Suspect Thomas Lester Harper, 27, of Arlington, Texas. (December 15, 2011)


It looked like a horrific car crash, but what took place Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Collins and Brown in Arlington was also a deadly shooting.

Police said 27-year-old Thomas Lester Harper drove his SUV through the intersection and killed a man in a Dodge pickup truck.  Police identified that man as 42-year-old Najee Nasir.

Police officials said Harper then shot and killed 19-year-old Clarenence Bryan Robinson.

Friends and co-workers at Potbelly's, said Robinson, who went by the name CJ, was just trying to help those involved in the crash.

"CJ of course would have been the first one to run up to the car.  And that's the moment I try not to think about, because what was he thinking when he realized that he couldn't help the guy and the guy was out to hurt [him].  That gun in the face," said Kesha Riley, the general manager at Potbelly's in Arlington.

Riley said she got a call at Potbelly's Wednesday night from family members looking for CJ.  Then hours later she got another call that CJ was dead.

"It wasn't CJ, it couldn't have been CJ," Riley told CW 33 News.

Riley remembered CJ as a fun and personable man.

"CJ was one of those people who never met somebody who couldn't be his friend," she said.

A friend who is now gone.

"It was a useless, a useless thing that guy did yesterday.  It was ridiculous for him to be out like that," said Riley.

Tarrant County Deputy Constable Rene Hille rolled up to the crash scene moments after the accident.  Then he heard a gun shot and  he went for his gun.

"I went ahead and decided that the best thing to do is keep him pinned, don't let him out.  So I kept my gun trained to him while I took more of a defensive stature," said Hille.

Backup arrived on scene, and with Hille's help, another shot was never fired.

"We're trained to do that stuff.  But the public, they're not.  This person who was killed, that's the hero.  That's the one that [deserves] recognition.  I'm trained to do this.  He didn't have a chance," said Hille.

Hille did all that he could, but he wished he could have done more.

"I just wish I could have gotten there 30 seconds faster, maybe I could have stopped that from happening," said Hille.

Harper was charged with murder and intoxication manslaughter.


Two people died, two children and one adult were sent to the hospital and one man was in police custody after multiple car crashes and a shooting in Arlington Wednesday.

Police and witnesses said two car crashes involving eight vehicles and the shooting were all connected.

Jason King said he saw it all.

"The guy in the Escalade clipped the silver car right here.  When he did, the silver car started chasing him.  They were going at least 100 [miles per hour]," said King.

Police said that's when the driver of the blue Escalade, and witnesses chasing after him to get his license plate number, came up to the intersection of Collins and Brown.

"The guy in the blue car, the Escalade, ran into the guy in the truck, and hit him hard, I mean real hard.  Killed him, looked like it killed him," King told CW 33 News.

Police said the driver of a Dodge pickup truck died on scene and they said the driver of the SUV was not done.

"A young man had walked up to the driver side of the blue SUV and was shot," said Sgt. Christopher Cook with the Arlington Police Department.

Cook said the man was shot and killed.

"Right when I walked off to check on another car, that's when the gunshot went off," said Jeremy Haigler.

Haigler was in his black Mazda Tribute when the second crash happened.

"He seemed very belligerent, and I just didn't understand.  But yeah, he didn't want anybody helping him.  He didn't want anybody helping him," said Haigler.

Police said the driver of the Escalade had twin toddlers related to him in the back of his SUV.

"I seen a little girl coming out of the top of the window, had blood on her, probably looked two years old," said King.

Both children were taken to Cook Children's Hospital with injuries that were not serious.  An adult was taken to another hospital, as was the suspect, who was then placed in police custody.

Arlington Police said the suspect was transported to the Arlington City Jail and faced charges of murder and intoxication manslaughter. He had been identified as Thomas Lester Harper, 27, of Arlington.

"Still very shaken up.  I don't know.  I'm still kind of in awe right now," said Haigler.

Update: Autopsies are being performed today on both the crash victim and the victim of the shooting.. A mug shot of the suspect is expected to be released later today, after police line ups have concluded. This story will be updated as details become available.