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Father of Lamar High School shooting suspect sentenced to 6-plus years in federal prison

John Edward Porter, 50, was charged for the gun crime in March and pleaded guilty in May.

Arlington Police
Arlington Police Officers block a street as Lamar High School students and faculty are evacuated after a school shooting left two people wounded and a suspect arrested, on Monday morning, March 20, 2023 in Arlington, Texas.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

By Jamie Landers

The father of a 15-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting a classmate at Lamar High School earlier this year was sentenced Thursday to more than six years in federal prison for possessing firearms as a felon, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced.

John Edward Porter, 50, was arrested for the gun crime in March and pleaded guilty in May. He was sentenced to 77 months in prison — or just under 6½ years.

His son, who has not been publicly identified due to his age, is accused of opening fire outside the Arlington school March 20, killing 16-year-old Ja’Shawn Poirier and wounding a girl, who was grazed by a bullet.

According to court documents, shortly after the shooting, authorities executed a search warrant at Porter’s apartment, where they found paperwork for a Mossberg model 500 12-gauge shotgun — the same gun recovered from the scene of the shooting. The U.S. attorney’s office said a trace revealed one of Porter’s relatives purchased the gun for him.


In Porter’s bedroom, agents also found a revolver, a pistol and a rifle, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Porter, who was convicted of first-degree robbery and sexual battery in Louisiana in 1996, admitted to possessing all four guns. Federal law does not allow people with felony convictions to possess a firearm.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Porter had also attempted to purchase guns from licensed firearm dealers in 2014 and 2020 but was denied after the background check flagged his prior felony convictions.

Porter’s son was previously set to stand trial last month, but it was delayed after a judge ordered him to undergo a mental evaluation.

Police have not disclosed a motive for the shooting.

This story, originally published in The Dallas Morning News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and Texas Metro News. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’ communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas.

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