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Friday, April 25, 1997
Triple homicide catches officers in East Texas
town by surprise
CENTER, Texas (AP) - In a small East Texas town where major
crime hasn't been a problem, authorities are investigating a triple
homicide that they've described as "a professional hit."
Two men and a 13-year-old girl were shot and killed, execution-style,
late Tuesday night in Center, a town of about 5,000 people. Center
is about 30 miles northeast of Nacogdoches.
Harmie Smith, a veteran of many years in law enforcement, says
he's never investigated a mass homicide before. He's an investigator
for the Shelby County district attorney's office.
"We have people here in the town that still sleep with
their windows open and doors unlocked. You just never expected
something like this to happen here," Smith told the Tyler
Officials say two men, apparently known to those inside, entered
a house and fired at least 14 rounds from an assault weapon.
Dead at the scene were Percy Keith Moore, 25; his wife's sister,
Christy Deanne Calhoun, 13; and Brian Keith Brooks, 26, of Tyler.
Moore's wife was at work but came home just before police arrived
to find her husband and sister lying in pools of blood, authorities
One of the men was found outside the back door with wounds
to his arm, back and head. The other man was shot in the back
and head. The girl apparently was sleeping on a couch when she
was shot in the head.
Smith compared the shooting to "a professional hit."
He added, "They didn't want to leave any witnesses."
Police said Vivian Watts, 42, and her daughter, Colandra, 15,
were shot when they peered out the front door of a neighboring
trailer home. Ms. Watts was shot in the hip and her daughter in
Ms. Watts told police that two people drove away in a two-tone,
brown extended cab pickup truck. Send a Letter to
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Abilene Reporter-News / Texnews / E.W. Scripps Publications
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