Distraught Jackson Man Takes Out Two Handguns And Shoots At Mother And Girlfriend

A Jackson man who came home from a counseling session distraught, fired a pair of handguns at least 16 times at his mother and girlfriend’s car, then threatened himself during more than two-hour standoff.

Clair McFarland

September 15, 20236 min read

Jackson police 9 15 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Note: The headline above originally did not contain the word “at” though it was meant to.

Accused of trying to kill his own mother and detaining his girlfriend by shooting out her tires, a Jackson man could face life in prison if convicted.

Charlie Phillips Lucas, who is 23 this year, is charged with one count of attempted second degree murder, which is punishable by between 20 years and life in prison, and a count of felony property destruction, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. He also faces misdemeanor charges of false imprisonment and reckless endangering, each bringing up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. 

Lucas’ case ascended Thursday to the felony-level Teton County District Court after the Teton County Attorney’s Office charged him Aug. 30 in Jackson Circuit Court. 

The case started the evening of Aug. 29 on North Spring Gulch Road in Jackson, when Lucas’ cousins related to Teton County Emergency Dispatch a message from Lucas’ parents that he was intoxicated and shooting a gun, according to the evidentiary affidavit. 

Teton County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Erik Elizondo went to the scene. As Elizondo drove there, the dispatcher patched in to Elizondo’s cellphone a call from Lucas’ mother. 

She said her son was acting erratically, was aggravated and had fired a weapon at her as she fled the house. 

Where Are The Guns?

Elizondo learned more throughout the course of the evening. 

Lucas had reportedly come home at about 8 p.m. that evening from a counseling session, agitated and cursing at his parents. Lucas’ fury boiled over when his father asked him for help with the camera system on a cellphone, says the affidavit. 

“Lucas became enraged and stormed off toward his bedroom in search of something,” says the document. Worried the younger man would grab a gun, his father followed him closely. 

Lucas’ girlfriend was also in the home at this time, studying in an office. 

Lucas combed frantically through his bedroom while his father tried soothing him verbally. 

Lucas crossed the hallway into the office and grabbed something, says the affidavit.

The “something” was two handguns, which Lucas pointed at his own head, proclaiming he wanted to kill himself, Lucas’ girlfriend later told law enforcement. 

Bullet Hole In The Head Rest

As the tension mounted, Lucas’ mother became afraid for her own safety and fled the house. 

“When Charlie gets to be this way, it’s usually best (if she) leaves,” the mother later told law enforcement. 

But her son followed her from the house, carrying the two semi-automatic pistols: one 9 mm and one .22-caliber, the affidavit alleges. 

Lucas’ mother noticed he was behind her. She tried to pull the front door shut while her son tugged from the other side to get it open.

She rushed to her truck, suddenly remembering she’d left her phone inside a bedroom on the house’s bottom floor. She pulled the truck closer to the house to try to get her phone so she could call 911, but Lucas opened fire on her with both pistols, shooting at his mother about 16 times as she sat in the driver’s seat of the truck, the affidavit claims.

The window shattered and one bullet went through the headrest, says the document. 

Lucas’ mother took off and hid out at a family member’s house down the road, prompting their 911 call to dispatch. 

The False Imprisonment Evidence

Lucas’ girlfriend heard the gunshots from the office where she’d been studying moments before. 

She estimated 20 shots were fired, the affidavit says. 

The girlfriend rushed to her own car, a 2010 Silver Subaru Outback. As she tried driving away, Lucas approached and allegedly shot out the front and rear tires on the driver’s side.

He informed her she wasn’t leaving and he only wanted to talk to her, says the affidavit. 

But she bolted down the hill and into the pasture, into hiding. 

A Standoff

Lucas then hopped into his own 2020 white Jeep Cherokee. 

Lucas’ father called the man on his cellphone and tried to calm him down. But Lucas, still distraught, said he was going to kill himself, the affidavit says. 

It was nearly 9 p.m. when Lucas left the property driving south on North Spring Gulch Drive. 

Jackson Police Officer Kevin Horchak was on the road, blocking traffic with his patrol vehicle. 

Horchak stopped Lucas. 

The man was facing numerous Teton County Sheriff’s deputies. There was a tense standoff for two hours and 17 minutes, the affidavit says. 

The document says Lucas continually told the deputies he was going to shoot himself, and asked them to shoot him. He negligently fired off his two guns about six times into the air and into the hillside, says the affidavit.

Lucas also reportedly slit his own wrists with a knife. 

Here the affidavit makes a passing reference to a male friend who got into the vehicle with Lucas after Lucas left home. Lucas allegedly pointed a pistol in his friend’s direction. 

“Lucas also pointed his firearm several times at the deputies,” says the affidavit. “Throughout the incident, Charlie Lucas held the gun to his head.”

But after hours of negotiating, agents arrested him safely. 

Flat Tires, Bullet Holes

The document says law enforcement agents gathered up the two pistols. Both were loaded with a round in the chamber. There were three rounds left in the 9 mm magazine and eight rounds left in the .22-caliber magazine.

Back at the Lucas home, police say they found about 20 bullet casings and one 9 mm bullet. At the scene of the standoff, they allegedly found five spent casings. 

Other relevant pieces of evidence cited in the affidavit are the bullet-riddled states of Lucas’ mother’s truck and his girlfriend’s Outback.

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter