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Suspect jailed a year after slaying outside Far East Dallas nightclub

Jerrard Straughn Cola, 46, faces a murder charge in the death of Reginald Agnew Jr.

A 46-year-old man has been arrested a year after a fatal shooting outside a Far East Dallas nightclub.

Jerrard Straughn Cola was booked into the Dallas County jail Thursday on a murder charge in connection with the death of Reginald Agnew Jr. He does not have an attorney listed in court records.

Police were called just before 2 a.m. Sept. 14, 2020, after a shooting in the parking lot outside Tropics, in the 3700 block of Dilido Road.

Officers found Agnew, 33, lying in a pool of blood, according to an arrest-warrant affidavit. He had been shot multiple times in the back and was pronounced dead at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.

Police reviewed surveillance video and, amid the people running and taking cover from the gunfire, saw a man with a gun getting into a black Mercedes, the affidavit says. When a detective contacted the car’s registered owner, she said she’d sold it for cash to a man whose name she didn’t know.

This April, a man driving the same Mercedes threatened two people with a handgun at a northeast Dallas gas station, according to the affidavit. A woman who called 911 about the incident gave police a picture of the gunman.

Detectives also learned that the car had been towed from an apartment complex in northeast Dallas and that Cola later claimed the vehicle, the affidavit says. Cola was the man in the picture from the gas station incident and resembled the man seen in footage from the nightclub, police said.

Authorities obtained a warrant for Cola’s cellphone records and determined he was near Tropics around the time of the shooting, the affidavit says.

Cola remained in custody Friday, with bail set at $500,000.

Tom Steele, Breaking News Producer. Tom has covered breaking news for The Dallas Morning News since 2016. He has worked in a number of other capacities for The News since 2007, and he was previously a copy editor at The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Fla. He has degrees in journalism and economics from Lehigh University.

tsteele@dallasnews.com tomsteele
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