Murderer Remains at Large, Lufkin PD Seeks Public’s Help
At 9:51 p.m. Friday night, Lufkin Police received a call from Dollar General on Kurth Drive regarding an armed robbery attempt that resulted in the death of a customer.
The suspect, who was wearing a mask, entered the store, demanded money and then shot a customer who was standing at the register at the time. The suspect fled the store on foot toward Loop 287 into a wooded area, according to a store clerk.
The victim in last night’s murder has been identified as Darrence Kindle, 31, of Lufkin. Kindle had just gotten off work at Georgia Pacific and went to Dollar General at 1401 Kurth Drive to buy cigarettes before going home. Kindle was standing at the check out in the middle of his purchase when the masked suspect entered the store at 9:48 p.m., waving a handgun and demanding money.
In the surveillance video (which will not be released due to its graphic nature), the suspect rushed in and walked behind Kindle. Kindle glanced over his shoulder to look at the suspect, did a double take and was then shot by the suspect at close range. This happened within 4 seconds of the suspect entering the store.
The suspect continued demanding money and then placed a shopping cart at the entrance to keep the automatic doors from shutting. He seemed to fumble with his weapon while pointing it at the clerk before jumping on top of the counter. After jumping down, the suspect rummaged through Kindle’s pockets before fleeing the store on foot into a wooded area toward Loop 287. It is unknown if the suspect took anything from Kindle. He did not get any money from the store.
When officers arrived, Kindle had a weak pulse and was taken by ambulance to CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial Lufkin where he succumbed to the wound.
“Any one of us could have been the person standing at that register when this all went down,” Lufkin Police Public Relations Specialist Jessica Pebsworth said. “Unfortunately for Mr. Kindle and his loved ones, he was that person. Our hearts go out to them in this time of grief.”
Officers spent hours searching for the suspect but were unsuccessful in locating him.
The suspect is described as a young, slender, light-complected black male, roughly 5’10, wearing a dark-colored hoodie, light-colored basketball shorts, red shoes and a neon green Halloween mask.
“Anyone with information is asked to call us at 936-633-0356 or Crime Stoppers at 936-639-TIPS if they wish to remain anonymous,” Pebsworth said. “This person needs to be brought to justice for the safety of our community and to give Mr. Kindle’s family closure.”
This incident remains under investigation.