The Front Yard Brawl was an Ambush, Family of Gunned-Down Woman Says
SAN ANGELO, TX - The front yard brawl on Sage Road last weekend started with a mild confrontation at a local bar and quickly escalated on Facebook around last call.
This is how one party of the altercation that landed a San Angelo woman in the hospital with a gunshot wound just below her chest explained the saga. Yesterday, she and her husband agreed to be interviewed to explain their side of the story. A word of caution for sensitive readers: the language gets fairly “salty.”
It was a night for celebrating for 25-year-old Jared Lohse and 23-year-old Amber Robertson. The two, recently married, welcomed their new baby into the world two weeks ago. Amber takes care of three children at home full-time now: the seven-year-old stepdaughter of Jared’s, her three-year-old, and the newborn.
Jared said he currently works as a tree trimmer and is trying to get his life in order. He has a conviction for family violence from a 2009 incident, and was arrested again for heroin possession earlier this year, according to Tom Green County court records. His trial is pending for January 2017.
Saturday night, Oct. 8, Amber and Jared, joined by Jared’s brother Devin Lohse, went to Fast Eddie’s Billiards, 4509 Sherwood Way, to play pool and darts, and to drink. Jared said they arrived at the bar sometime after 9 p.m. They left sometime around last call, before 2 a.m.
“We got out last round of Vegas Bombs at around 1:30,” Jared said, remembering the final drink order for the specialty shot at last call.
Once there, Amber said they were confronted casually several times by two men, Matthew Brown and Tommy Lee McCutchen. Amber said they are brothers, or at least they lived at the same address, she said.
Amber said she dated Brown briefly years ago.
“He (Brown) kept trying to talk to me and I didn’t want to talk to him anymore,” Amber said. She said they were bragging about who they recently beat up, and antagonizing us, she said. “Every time we would go outside to smoke, they would go outside with us.”
Then the two would follow Amber and her husband and his brother back inside.
“They were trying to start shit,” she said.
Brown and McCutchen left the bar sometime before Amber and the Lohses did.
McCutchen and Brown weren’t finished, and thanks to Facebook’s Instant Messenger, the men were able to continue contact with Amber.
“He (McCutchen) messaged me on Facebook and said ‘your man sucks at darts; why don’t you come fuck with me?’” The meaning wasn’t literal, Amber explained. It meant ‘leave your man and come talk to me.’
McCutchen continued his messages and said, “three years and nine months ain’t shit to my last name. Fuck you. Three years and nine months, and you don’t know me?”
Amber took that to mean that he was ‘bad’ and desirable because of his three years and nine months’ prison time.
Amber said she responded, “You’re not going to message my Facebook, talking shit about my old man…. I am done with all of your dumb ass bullshit.”
Amber said Tommy responded, “Too late for that bullshit. How does your nigga know me? Let’s settle this shit.”
“You’re fucking stupid. Grow the fuck up,” Amber responded. “And for the record, my old man don’t know you. His brother does. So go somewhere else with all your ignorant ass shit.”
But he continued, “What’s up? Is your man scared or what? I already know what’s up. Me and Cody (Jared’s cousin) used to be cool as fuck, but I’m just trying to talk to you and he wants to be all jealous and shit. LMAO. I was trying to talk to all of ya’ll at the bar, but he didn’t want to talk.”
As Amber read the instant messages, Jared interrupted. “You can only insult my lady so many times until I’m not going to have it anymore,” he said.
Next in the message thread, Tommy told Amber, “You come out here and let’s settle this. Your old man knows where I live at. Haha.”
Amber and the Lohse brothers decided to accept the invitation. Jared drove his 2014 Chevrolet Camaro with standard transmission with Amber and Devin as passengers over to Sage Road.
“I admit I was probably drunk driving,” he said. “But I wasn’t texting. You have to use both hands to drive my standard.” Jared was careful to stress he wasn’t a part of the Facebook conversation. He couldn’t be because he was driving a standard.
On the way there, Jared stopped to pick up a fourth person, Erik Vance, who Jared said was a cousin. Now four strong, they were ready to settle the score.
Once there, they saw Brown and McCutchen in the front yard, Amber said. As the four got out of the Camaro, Jared said he had a ‘baton’ in his back pocket for self-defense.
“As soon as we got out of the car, Brown and McCutchen ran to the bushes and got shotguns,” Amber said. Jared estimated they were 410 gage.
But Jared said he wasn’t prepared for a gunfight. He was expecting fists, possibly. But not to be “ambushed” by two men brandishing shotguns, he said.
“As soon as we showed up, they ran to the bushes to grab their guns like two rats in a cage,” Jared said.
Now facing armed men, Amber tried to insert herself into the role as peacemaker. She said she took possession of Jared’s baton to disarm him and stood between the two pairs of men.
“I said, ‘No, we’re not fucking doing it this way. Ya’ll can talk, or fight, whatever. But we’re not doing it with weapons.’ And that’s when he shot me,” Amber said.
She said Brown pulled the trigger.
“I was shot and I heard my husband say, ‘You fucking shot her?’” Amber recalled. “I felt getting shot, and I felt blood gushing out; I don’t remember anything after that.”
Jared estimates that the parties were about 12 feet apart, and Amber was in between the men attempting to separate them. That means the shotgun was fired at her mid torso at approximately five to six feet away.
“It was close enough that the shot didn’t spread out enough to not penetrate just one area,” Jared said.
Ross Robertson, her father, said, “She died out there twice.”
Jared said while he was treating Amber, either Brown or McCutchen struck him in the head with the butt of a shotgun. Also, while the Lohses were frantically trying to save Amber’s life, no one would call 9-1-1, and Brown’s parents by this time were in the front yard. Jared said two of their cell phones were dead, and his was in the car. He grabbed a phone from Brown’s mother and called. That’s how the ambulance was called, along with the sheriff, at 2:32 a.m., he said.
Jared said after the 9-1-1 call was made, Brown, McCutchen and their family ran into the house and barricaded themselves inside. Not one of them offered help with saving Amber’s life.
Jared and Amber contend they were lured into the confrontation by Brown and McCutchen. Jared admits he was expecting a fist fight, but not to be “ambushed” by two men armed with shotguns.
“We’ve done some bad shit in our past, but we’re not trying to linger around and stay there. We like to go out and do some things every now and then? Yeah! But we didn’t start that shit with them. And I say ‘we’ because that’s my baby. And the son of a bitch better leave her alone,” father Ross Robertson said, speaking on the couple’s behalf.
Amber was released from ICU on Monday. She said she expects to continue to heal with hopes of being released from the hospital in about a week.
In the meantime, Jared is facing charges for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Bodily Injury, a second-degree felony. He is out on a $20,000 bond.
Matthew Brown was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Bodily Injury, second-degree felony; bond was set at $20,000. Brown was also charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a felon, a third degree felony; bond was set at $10,000.