PAPD: Port Arthur man confesses to shooting man in his driveway, saying video made him turn himself in

Published 12:52 pm Thursday, March 18, 2021

Charles Knatt, 19, confessed to Port Arthur Police investigators that he shot a local resident Monday during a robbery and car theft, authorities said.

Det. Mike Hebert said video taken from the victim’s home proved to be the motivating factor, adding Knatt knew he was caught after video of the violence was shared by Port Arthur Newsmedia, among other media entities.

“It was all about that video,” Hebert said during a new conference Thursday.

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That shooting took place at approximately 4:30 a.m. Monday when Jason Portie stepped out of his home in the 3800 block of Chevy Chase Lane and locked the door, his truck already running from remote start.

It seemed like a typical Monday morning in Port Arthur; but as soon as he stepped on the sidewalk, a man pointing a gun came rushing at him. The man pushed him to the ground and pinned him down while asking for money.

“He checked my pockets, took my phone, got my backpack that I bring to work,” Portie said late Monday morning after having been released from CHRISTUS Southeast Texas – St. Elizabeth in Beaumont.

A second person was in Portie’s truck at this time. Before the robbers fled in his truck, the passenger moved out onto a step and fired four shots over the vehicle with one bullet hitting Portie in the arm.

Because it was so early in the morning, his family was asleep; but he was able to get his wife to come to the door, and they called 911.

The assailants were both male and wearing hoodies. The one with the gun was wearing a mask, Portie said. The other man had a dark complexion and was in his late 20s to early 30s, about 6-feet, 1-inch or 6-feet, 2-inches and 180 pounds.

The bullet that struck Portie went through his arm and struck his home.

“It went through and through, but it didn’t hit the bone. It barely missed the main artery in my arm,” he said, adding he will not require surgery.

The stolen truck was located a short time later at Stonegate Manor Apartments.

Hebert said police identified a person of interest — Knatt — who voluntarily came to the Port Arthur Police Department to give a confession stating he was the shooter.

“The investigators have been working tirelessly on this case along with our crime scene technicians,” Hebert said. “They did a fantastic job.”

Knatt was placed under arrest that day for four outstanding warrants out of Chambers County and an outstanding warrant out of Jefferson County for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

He was charged Thursday with the Port Arthur shooting, receiving a $250,000 bond.

“The lead detective on the case did want the family of the victim to know that as he gave his confession that he did ask for the family’s forgiveness and was very sorry for what he had done,” Hebert said. “We are also developing persons of interest for who else was involved. There was one other individual. Investigators are following leads on that.”

Hebert said it was very productive for police that the Portie family had their own video cameras at their house that caught the entire altercation.

“Most people have seen that video,” Hebert said. “It was certainly very traumatic for the family. It was a very violent incident. That was instrumental in getting some closure for this family.”

Hebert noted it is not common for Port Arthur Police to receive the kind of confession they got in this week’s case.

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