2014 report shows dozens of deficiencies at group home

AUSTIN -- After an autistic man was shot and killed by a South Austin homeowner on Monday morning, more details are being uncovered about the group home where 24-year-old Jared James lived.

Police said a homeowner shot and killed James when he tried to get inside the man's home across the street. James lived across the street in a group home for people with disabilities on Balcones Cove. A spokesperson for Educare Community Living Corporation - Texas, the company which operates the group home, said James became agitated and ran from the home early Monday morning, but a staff member was unable to get him inside.

A report from the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) in July showed 27 deficiencies in the group home. Among other items, the report shows the home failed to have policies and procedures that prohibit mistreatment, neglect or abuse of clients. The report states the home also failed to have competent staff to provide treatment and protect clients, and that claims staff did not implement behavioral plans correctly or consistently. Investigators also found eight state standard violations, including a failure to meet staffing requirements. DADS spokesperson Cecilia Cavuto said all the deficiencies were corrected.

"We require from them to provide us with a written plan telling us how they're going to make corrections and come back into compliance," said DADS spokesperson Cecilia Cavuto.

The Austin Police Department also visited the home six times last year, all in response to reports of "emotionally disturbed" individuals.

A neighbor provided KVUE with video from Dec. 11, 2014 when police responded to one of those individuals in the street. In the video, a woman, believed to be a caretaker, stands nearby on the phone as police attempt to calm the man.

"There was a man out there screaming. I mean, screaming weird things. You could tell something was wrong with him," neighbor Steve Roberts said. "That's the scary part about it. You can't think in your mind, 'Does this guy have a mental problem or is he just here to hurt us?'"

Robert said he fears that may be what lead to the deadly shooting on his block Monday.

"I'm glad I wasn't in that situation to where I had to make that decision," he said.

Before 2014, the last time police responded to the home was in 2009.


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