Police say what began as a robbery, took a deadly turn. Authorities first believed the man's death was the result of a gunshot wound to the head. But tonight, police say that may not be the case.
Friends and neighbors of 71-year-old Hulen Benson are in shock and mourn the loss of a man they say impacted each of them in a positive way. "He was a good man. He was a good man. He would help anybody out. They didn't have to do him like that," says Benson's neighbor, Cynthia Price.
Police say around three this morning Benson was in his home with two friends when a man armed with a shotgun entered. "A black male had entered the residence through an open front door and demanded at gunpoint some money," says Lieutenant Victor Quintana of the Lubbock Police Department.
Police first suspected the armed man shot Benson. "The witness did not hear any type of a discharge from a firearm or anything," says Quintana.
But witnesses say they never heard gunshots and police say preliminary autopsy reports indicate that Benson died from of a puncture wound as the result of an object being forced into this mouth, possibly the shotgun.
Benson's neighbors knew him well and say life will not be the same without him. But with his death each one of them hope justice will be done. "He's like a father to me, a father figure," says Cynthia.
"The only thing I can say is I'm gonna miss him and hope they find who did this to him," says Charles, another neighbor of Benson's.
"He was always in good spirits he liked to joke with people," says friend, Venita Vera.
"It's bad. I'm gonna miss him that it ended like that. I lost a friend and a neighbor," says Charles.
Again police are still searching for a young black male, about 5'10" tall, who was last seen wearing a mask. If you have any information regarding this crime you are urged to call CrimeLine at 741-1000 or you can call Detective Chris Bruenig at 775-2413.