Sheriff's office makes arrest in Rivercrest shootings

Joe Tubbs mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Joe Tubbs mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Kenneth Brown
Kenneth Brown
Jesse Burt
Jesse Burt

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - email

RIVERCREST COMMUNITY, Texas (KTRE) - The Angelina County Sheriff's Office has charged a man with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon following a shooting Tuesday afternoon in the Rivercrest community.

Deputies took Joe Benny Tubbs, 38, into custody for questioning on Tuesday.

Authorities said Tuesday the shootings were the culmination of a long-time feud between the Tubb family and another group.

Two men -- Robert Perkins and Clifford Wyer -- were injured in the shootings. A third man, Kenneth Brown, was grazed by a bullet but did not need medical attention.

Kenneth brown has lived in Rivercrest for three weeks. Now he's packing up.

"A black person with a white woman down here, it's no good," he said. "They don't play that down there."

Brown says a Rivercrest family kicked his father-in-law in the chest because he's married to a white woman.

It escalated Tuesday afternoon when Brown and a group walked by Tubbs' house.

Authorities believe Tubbs fired his 12-gauge shotgun into the group, injuring two men. A bullet also grazed Brown's arm.

"I feared for my husband's life and my daughter's life," said Debbie Brown, Kenneth's wife.

But a witness that was at the Tubbs' house tells a different story.

"People shot at us in the yard and you know, his dad come out and shot them two people," Jesse Burt said. "He wasn't doing nothing but protecting his kids and us."

Conflicting stories, but deputies say it doesn't appear anyone with Brown did any shooting.

"We haven't been able to prove that they fired any shots," Lt. Pete Cooper said.

Brown's family say the incident was racially motivated.

"They're not racist," Burt said. "I mean if people will leave them alone, they won't mess with nobody else."

While Brown says he didn't feel safe staying there anymore, Burt says everything would've been fine if the Browns would've stayed on their side of Rivercrest.

"As long as they don't come over to our house, we ain't no danger to them, but they come over to our house, we'll do the same thing again," Burt said.

"I'm not going to never let it happen again," Brown's brother, Theodore Brown Jr., said. "I'll die and go to Hell before there'll be another Mississippi burning, I promise you that."

"The Confederate flag, it's not racist," Burt said. Everybody's got grandparents that fought in the Confederate war, but as far as racist no."

And the KKK signs?

"Well that, you know how that goes," Burt said. "It's just pretty much a warning, stay away."

Racism's possible role is being investigated. For now, Tubbs is charged with the crime and the Browns are looking for a new home.

Tuesday's shooting would not be Tubbs' first run-in with violence. A 2008 report shows he was injured in a disturbance involving a sharp weapon.

Copyright 2010 KTRE. All rights reserved.