Shooter acted strange before taking Arlington bar manager's life

A good Samaritan carrying a licensed concealed handgun likely saved other lives by stopping the shooter

  • Cesar Perez, 37, bar manager at Zona Caliente Sports Bar and Grill in Arlington Tx
    A candlelight vigil is scheduled Thursday evening at 7 p.m. for 37-year-old Cesar Perez, who was fatally shot Wednesday.
Zack Maxwell

New information has been learned about a deadly shooting at a South Arlington sports bar Wednesday evening.

The manager of Zona Caliente Sports Bar and Grill, 37-year-old Cesar Perez, was shot dead by a man who witnesses said entered the business acting “incoherent” and “strange.”

“When the suspect came in, he walked up to the bar and started yelling,” said police spokesperson Lt. Christopher Cook. “Customers said he was yelling incoherent and strange things.”

The suspect shooter has been identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner as James Jones, 48, of Grand Prairie.

“Without warning,” Jones drew a handgun and fatally shot Perez. Cook said there is no evidence that the shooter knew the manager.

A man who police are describing as a “Good Samaritan” happened to be at the bar carrying a concealed weapon when the shooting unfolded. He instructed his wife to take cover before opening fire on Jones.

“After he was struck once, the suspect started shooting at the front door,” Cook said. “We know people were trying to escape, but we’re not sure if he was just trying to harm others.”

Jones died from the gunshot wound sustained from the bar patron. That man is not expected to face charges, as the bar is a “blue sign” business. State law allows licensed holders to conceal carry into such an establishment.

Cook revealed that a second fully loaded handgun and two knives were also found on Jones’ person.

“Had the Good Samaritan not intervened, there could have further loss of life,” Cook said.

Jones did not have a license to carry.

Investigators are reviewing Jones’ history for past criminal convictions or signs of mental health issues.

“We don’t know why he would enter this business and have that many weapons on his person,” Cook said.

A post on Zona’s Facebook page indicates a candlelight vigil is planned at the bar Thursday at 7 p.m.