NewsChannel 11 is learning more about how police caught a suspected killer and why he may have pulled the trigger on a total stranger.
Family members laid 21-year-old Chase Pendleton to rest at a Tahoka cemetery on Thursday. Pendleton was gunned down outside a Lubbock convenience store early Monday morning.
Police arrested the suspected shooter, 36-year-old Mitchell Erin Wachholtz Tuesday afternoon. He remains in the Lubbock County Jail on a $1-million bond.
NewsChannel 11 is taking a closer look at the eyewitness accounts from that night. Police have not revealed any sort of previous connection between Pendleton and Wachholtz. The store clerk tells police there was an argument inside the store just before Pendleton was shot, but it didn't involve Pendleton or the suspected shooter.
The clerk on duty Monday morning told police a man walked in around 1:30 talking very loudly, and using profanity and degrading language. That man was later identified as Markus Smith, the second person shot in the incident.
The clerk says Smith cut in front of other customers, and got into a verbal argument with a Hispanic man in line. After what the clerk describes as a brief argument, Smith walked away from the counter with a group of people including the victim Chase Pendleton. The clerk recalls hearing someone yell duck, and seeing the suspect waiving a gun back and forth.
The victim's brother Quentin Pendleton says the shooter fired two or three shots before he saw Chase fall to the ground. Quentin says after hearing the gunshots, he saw Smith run to his car and leave.
Then Quentin says the shooter pointed the gun at him, and pulled the trigger. All Quentin heard was a click, making him believe the gun was out of bullets. Quentin told police he then tried to stop the suspect from leaving the parking lot, by grabbing and punching him, but the shooter got away.
Police later caught up with Smith at another residence. He had been shot in the arm, and during questioning he told police no one who had gone into the store with him argued or had a confrontation with the shooter.
After several Crime Line tips, police received a solid lead, indicating Wachholtz as the shooter. It came from a caller who told police Wachholtz had assaulted them the day before. The caller identified Wachholtz as the shooter, and a witness to that alleged assault also identified Wachholtz from surveillance stills.
To make sure, the witness, according to the affidavit, logged onto kcbd.com with detectives to watch the surveillance video, and made another positive identification.
Police also identified the man who entered the store with Wachholtz Monday morning, but his status has changed from suspect to witness.
Again police have not released any new information about a previous connection between Wachholtz and Pendleton, so Monday morning may have been the first time they saw each other, and that leaves several questions unanswered as to why this shooting happened.
|Courts & Crime|