Police investigating sports bar shooting as possible hate crime

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Arlington police are now investigating whether Wednesday's deadly shooting at a sports bar was a hate crime.

The general manager of the Zona Caliente Sports Bar, 37-year-old Cesar Perez, was trying to calm a frantically yelling gunman, James Jones, when he shot and killed Perez.

Other employees say a customer with a concealed handgun stopped a possible mass shooting when he shot and killed Jones.

The customer who shot and killed the gunman has declined to comment. He has not been charged, but his case will go to a grand jury.

Arlington police say they are investigating the possibility that the shooting was a hate crime because of what Jones said once he entered the restaurant. Police also say he had extra ammo in his car.

A memorial for Perez remains outside on the patio while the restaurant remains closed.

Police say the 48-year-old gunman entered the restaurant and started shouting what police say people in the restaurant considered racial comments before shooting Perez. He was also armed with two guns and two knives,

Police say Jones was in the U.S. Army from 1989 to 1992 and served in Desert Storm.

"There's been a crisis in this community from a lot of veterans coming back that have to deal with issues and stuff like that,” said Arlington Lt. Chris Cook. “We’re looking to see if there were any mental health issues going on."

Police are also waiting for toxicology tests to come back to see if Jones might have been under the influence of any substance. They don’t believe he knew Perez, and his family tells investigators they know of no reason why Jones would go to that restaurant.

Grand Prairie police say Jones reported he was a victim of a robbery in 2014. They said Jones said someone had stolen his cell phone and was later found bleeding and lying next to his pickup.

Arlington police are taking a look at the 2014 incident as they look into everything they can find out about Jones.