Fort Worth man accused of shooting councilman’s mother sentenced on illegal gun charge

A Fort Worth man who pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm after authorities said he shot through the door of a home and wounded an 82-year-old woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The victim was Graciela Flores, the mother of Fort Worth City Council member Carlos Flores. The bullet didn’t hit any vital organs, according to the councilman, who called 911 and tended to his mother while waiting for police and medics to arrive.

Jonathan R. Howard, 35, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. Howard was arrested after police said he fired into the north Fort Worth home of the 82-year-old victim and shot her in the chest around 9:40 p.m. on Feb. 23.

Graciela Flores had already been taken to the hospital when officers arrived, according to the Justice Department.

Officers found cartridge casings in Howard’s back yard, across the alley from the victim’s home, the DOJ said in the news release. The next day, officers searched Howard’s home and car, where they found three guns: a Jimenez Arms 9mm handgun, a Glock 9mm handgun and a Taurus 9mm handgun.

Because Howard was previously convicted of multiple felonies including forgery in 2011 and manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance in 2019, it was not legal for him to own any guns.

Howard is also facing a state charge of aggravated assault in connection to the shooting. That charge is still pending and Howard has not pleaded guilty. Tarrant County records do not indicate the next court date for the assault charge.

According to the initial police report, Graciela Flores was inside her house when she thought she heard someone outside the back door. She told police that she thought the person was a family member and she called out the relative’s name. Then she heard a gunshot through the door and felt pain. She saw blood and realized that she had been shot. Carlos Flores said he believed that his mother was hit by a stray bullet fired from the back yard of the suspect’s home.