HAMMOND — A 30-year-old man is accused of fatally gunning down a Gary man last week after receiving a phone call from the mother of his children who police say lied about the victim physically harming her.  

Jason Ryan Burgess, of Gary, faces murder charges in connection with Thursday's killing of James D. Franklin, 57, of Gary, and attempted murder charges for shooting in the direction of Franklin's son, who was walking with Franklin that night. 

Prosecutors tacked on an enhancement to the murder charge because Burgess allegedly used a weapon to carry out the killing, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Gary police were dispatched at 10:43 p.m. Thursday to the 4200 block of Kentucky Street for a report of shots fired to find Franklin lying in the middle of the street, struggling to breath with a pool of blood surrounding his lower body.

A shot to Franklin's right thigh severed his femoral artery. Franklin was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:50 p.m. 

Franklin's girlfriend told police she and Franklin got into an argument earlier that night, court records state. 

"(The woman) admitted Mr. Franklin was not the aggressor, rather she was the aggressor and Mr Franklin's actions were only to keep her off of him," a detective wrote in the affidavit. 

The woman stated she chased him out of the house, striking him several times with a piece of wooden trim that had nails protruding out of it, records show. 

The woman admitted to calling Burgess during this time, telling him she was "tired of everything," and claimed Franklin put his hands on her and shoved her to the ground. 

Burgess allegedly responded, "I'm on my way."

The woman told police she knew from past experiences in calling him that Burgess intervening likely meant he would either pull a gun on or physically assault Franklin, court records state. 

The woman said she later saw Franklin and his son walking down the street and Burgess at a nearby corner stop sign "holding a shiny object, what she believed to be a gun, in the air," court records state. 

She then told Burgess on the phone the direction in which Franklin and his son were walking, knowing he would continue to go after them, according to the affidavit. 

The victim's son told police he was walking with Franklin that night when they were approached by a man on a bike whom he recognized as "my dad's girlfriend's baby daddy."

Burgess was identified through a photographic lineup and witness statements. 

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

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Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.