Samuel Varela Jr.

Samuel Varela Jr. 

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect the victim's age to be 19. It was previously listed as 20 as released by Duncan Police. The Banner apologizes for the error and is happy to set the record straight.

 

The State of Oklahoma has filed charges for the suspect in a local convenience store shooting that left one dead this week in Duncan.

According to court records, Samuel Varela Jr., 18, of Duncan, is accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Malaki Joseph Stone on Tuesday, April 27. Varela now faces a charge of murder in the first degree with deliberate intent and a charge of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, according to court documentation.

Murder in the first degree with deliberate intent carries a punishment of death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for life without parole. Attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon is punishable by imprisonment for life in the state penitentiary or for a period of time not less than five years.

The first call to dispatch came in around 3:14 a.m. Tuesday, April 27, 2021, when an employee of the Stripes gas station in the 1200 block of W. Bois D’arc reported an attempted robbery at the store. The caller told police a “male with a handgun in his hoodie pocket had attempted to rob the store,” an affidavit shows.

When officers arrived to the scene, they were unable to locate the suspect in the area and began to check convenience stores around the vicinity. 

An interview with the employee of the store said the male had allegedly come into the store and told the employee to “give him a bag of cash” and when he didn’t respond, the male allegedly “pulled a black pistol out of his hoodie pocket,” reports state. The employee also told police when they yelled for the manager, the suspect said, “nevermind” and left the store, according to affidavits.

Around 3:31 a.m., DPD arrived at 9th and Bois D’Arc to check on employees at the Chisholm Corner. When police arrived, they observed Stone lying on the floor face down.

After forcing entry into the building, police found Stone dead and called for additional units and investigators. DPD, along with Stephens County Sheriff’s Department, went throughout Duncan to the open convenience stores to notify them of the situation.

Officers who spoke to store employees of Loves at 2nd and Main learned that a male matching the description of the suspect from Stripes had been in the store multiple times earlier in the night.

Pulled video footage from the Chisholm Corner allegedly showed Varela Jr. approach the store’s drive-thru window around 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27.

He knocked on the window, according to the report, and when Stone opened the window, Varela Jr. allegedly pulled a handgun from his hoodie pocket and fired shots. 

According to the report, video shows Varela Jr. leaving the scene on foot heading northbound. Police detained him upon return to the Love’s Station at 2nd and Main for questioning.

During his interview with police after he was read his Miranda Warning, Varela allegedly admitted to going to the Chisholm Corner at 813 W. Bois D’arc, knocking on the drive-thru window and shooting the store employee in the face, according to a report. The same report shows Varela told police he “shot three times” and had “used a 9mm handgun to shoot the store employee.” 

Records show during the interview, Varela told police he didn’t know where the gun was and would not tell police what he did with it after leaving the store. 

Varela, during the interview, allegedly told law enforcement he had “been in an argument with the store employee earlier in the night and the store employee had disrespected his dead grandmother,” states a report. The report also shows Varela said he “went back to the store to shoot the store employee because of the disrespect.”

Records show law enforcement then collected Varela’s clothing and gun shot residue samples from Varela. He was then placed under arrest for first degree murder and attempted armed robbery.

OSBI Investigators who processed the scene found “one spent 9mm shell case, one fired projectile, one damaged metal from food warmer, swabs from a footwear impression, and one pill.”

The Medical Examiner’s report, according to records reported by Stephens County law enforcement, showed “two apparent gunshot wounds” to the victim.

A report also shows Varela’s vehicle was allegedly found on the alley way behind Loves and was transported to the Criminal Justice Complex. After obtaining a search warrant, law enforcement searched the vehicle and found “an Apple iPhone, silver machete and blond wig,” according to the report.

Varela appeared in court for an initial appearance on Thursday, April 29, but terminated it for an attorney. A bond for Varela was not set as of press time.

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