KCBD Investigates Discounting Danger: Protective Order issued against Jamie Lee Pruett four days before deadly shooting
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The KCBD Investigates Team has learned a Lubbock County District Court issued a protective order against a man four days before he was arrested for a deadly shooting.
On March 13, Lubbock County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Jamie Lee Pruett, 49, for shooting four people.
One person has since died.
Pruett remains in the Lubbock County Detention Center on a $20 million bond, indicted on one count of murder and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
In Feb. 2023, Snodgrass’ co-workers called the Lubbock Police Department to report Pruett had shown up at their office looking for Snodgrass.
The employees told police Pruett was yelling, using vulgar language and tried to incite them to fight.
They also told the officers Pruett said, “I’m not threatening to kill Shawn Snodgrass, I will kill Shawn Snodgrass.”
Snodgrass said he was out of town when the incident happened, but he filed a police report the following day, on Feb. 21.
He told police Pruett had, on more than one occasion, contacted him, followed him and shown up at his office.
Snodgrass told the officers Pruett knew where he lived and he feared for his life.
The next day, in an unrelated incident, a 17-year-old called 911 claiming Pruett made inappropriate comments to her at work and then attempted to follow her home.
“I got to a stop light and I kind of looked over and it was him and he rolled down his window and started screaming at me to roll my window down, so I immediately ran that red light. I was making as many turns as I could to try to lose him and he was still trying to run me off the road and follow me,” she said.
She eventually lost Pruett and filed a police report.
The 17-year-old said she attempted to apply for a protective order but was turned away.
“My stepdad took me up to the advocacy center and they said, ‘We can’t do anything for you; we can’t get you a restraining order because you are a minor,” she said.
The teenager said when she learned of the shooting and Pruett’s arrest, she went back to the Lubbock County courthouse and tried to file an application for a protective order, but was denied again.
Snodgrass, however, had success.
He hired an attorney and they filed an application for a protective order in Feb. In the application, Snodgrass wrote that Pruett began harassing him the previous month.
He said Pruett threatened his life on multiple occasions and he feared for his own safety and the safety of his employees.
A hearing was scheduled for March 9, but Pruett did not show up.
The court found Pruett presented a “clear and present danger” and issued the protective order.
We spoke with Lubbock County Domestic Violence Prosecutor Tracie Wiseley to find out why the teenager may have been turned away.
“We do have to prove that relationship, that family violence or dating relationship, or that they were a victim of a specific crime. I don’t really want to comment too much on that particular case because we do still have charges against that man. But harassment in general requires either obscenity or repeated communication. Stalking requires harassment and/or multiple assaults, or multiple instances of property damage or threats directed at a specific person. One instance probably isn’t going to rise to the level of either of those,” Wiseley said.
Wiseley said if there is not a pending criminal case and the person does not qualify for a protective order, there are limited options.
“We do ask them to ask for close patrol from the police department or to apply for a criminal trespass order if they are able to get one,” Wiseley said.
Wisely stated her office can ask the judge for a no-contact order on any bond, so if the person gets out of jail, they will be under court order not to contact the victim.
Wiseley said most people who contact her office to apply for a protective order do have a pending criminal case, but it is not necessary.
Snodgrass, for example, did not have a criminal case and successfully, with the help of his attorney, obtained the protective order.
“It just changes what evidence is presented,” Wiseley said.
Wiseley said there is a common misconception that people can walk into the district attorney’s office and walk out with a protective order, but it is not that easy.
“It is an adversarial process. If you accuse someone of wrongdoing, have the right to defend themselves,” Wiseley said.
The accused can waive the hearing and accept the protective order, or they can defend themselves in court.
Wiseley said the process can be difficult for victims.
“It is something we have to warn all of our applicants about because they are going to see their abuser; they are going to have to testify if we have a hearing about it, which is stressful in itself. Public speaking is scary, being questioned by opposing counsel is scary. So that is something we sit down and explain to them this is the process we have to go through to get a protective order,” Wiseley said.
Wiseley offered tips for those who may be victims of stalking or harassment.
She said to document everything and report the incident immediately.
The Legal Aid Society of Lubbock works to provide low-income clients of the South Plains with legal assistance, including protective orders.
To learn more about the Legal Aid Society’s services and to contact their team, click here.
Women’s Protective Services also provides resources to victims and is open 24/7.
Click here to learn more about their services and to contact their team.
Copyright 2023 KCBD. All rights reserved.