Timeline reveals neighborhood concern before Slaton shooting

Published: Feb. 22, 2012 at 10:10 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2015 at 10:48 PM CST
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Sampson Blake Oguntope (Provided by Lubbock County S.O.)
Sampson Blake Oguntope (Provided by Lubbock County S.O.)

SLATON, TX (KCBD) - Slaton police held a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, providing more detail about the events leading to the arrest of Sampson Blake Oguntope:

On Tuesday morning at 8:12 a.m., Slaton police received a call from a Slaton resident, saying a black male had come to their door asking when they would be at work and when they would return home. He said he was looking for a girl and wanted to know if they had a 21-year-old daughter. The resident gave a description of a black male that matched Oguntope, and gave a description of a white car and the license plate.

At 8:37 a.m., that resident called back, stating that the stranger's vehicle, a white Honda with dealer tags, was seen pulling into the Knight's Inn on HWY 84.

Two Slaton police officers responded and made contact with Oguntope. He told officers he was looking for a girl that he had been talking to and went to the wrong address. Oguntope then told the officers he was only at the hotel to use the wi-fi.

"The officers said they didn't feel he was acting suspicious, nervous or anything like that. The ran a check on him, and he was not wanted at the time with any warrants," said Slaton Police Chief Steven Wheeler. The officers then took Oguntope's information and left the hotel.

Just three hours later at 11:48 a.m., Slaton PD received a 911 call that there was a white female bleeding in the 1400 block of W. Crosby Street. The first officer to arrive advised others that they needed to check out a house at the end of the block.

Wheeler says when they entered the home they found 89-year-old Faye Gray shot to death. Her 21-year-old caretaker had also been shot. Police found her further down the road after she had run to get help.

The caretaker's description of the shooter and his vehicle matched that of Oguntope's. Wheeler says they then launched a state-wide search.

Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, SWAT team, Texas Rangers, and DPS came to assist in the investigation.

"At that point we went door to door checking residences to make sure there were no other victims," said Wheeler. "Our main concern was the welfare of our citizens."

During the investigation, officers learned Oguntope was a Tech student and notified Texas Tech police.

Scanners on the Texas Tech campus spotted Oguntope's license plate. Tech police then notified Slaton and Texas DPS authorities that the suspect vehicle was on campus.

Texas Tech police, DPS officers and Texas Rangers searched for him on campus while SWAT set up surveillance on the Oguntope's home in north Lubbock.

Oguntope returned home around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night and was taken into custody.  He was officially booked into the Lubbock County jail Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. and was charged with Murder and Theft later that afternoon.

Wheeler says after people began learning of the investigation, other Slaton residents called police saying a man matching Oguntope's description had come to their door earlier asking similar questions. One resident says Oguntope tried to force his way into the home but the homeowner's dogs prevented him from doing so.

Wheeler also says police believe Oguntope could have been under the influence of narcotics at the time of the shooting, but they're still investigation what his motive could have been.

Police are not releasing where or how many times the victims were shot, or any information about the murder weapon.

He remains behind bars on a half million dollar bond.

RELATED STORY: Oguntope charged with murder, theft

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