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.

 

Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford confirmed his department has completed the investigation into an alleged early morning shooting at a convenience store drive-thru on Tuesday that claimed the life of a 19-year-old employee.

Ford said the victim was Malaki Joseph Stone, an employee of Chisholm Corner. Police identified the suspect as 18-year-old Samuel Varela Jr. and confirmed pending charges as of Tuesday afternoon.

Duncan Police Det. Josh Branch said the original call came in at 3:14 a.m. Tuesday, April 27 from an employee of Stripes, located in the 1200 block of W. Bois D’Arc, who said there had been an attempted armed robbery at the store.

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.

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.

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

The alleged suspect, according to a release from DPD, returned to the Love’s convenience store while Duncan Police were on the scene. He was detained at the time for questioning.

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, Varela Jr. was seen leaving the scene on foot heading northbound and was detained upon return to the Love’s Station at 2nd and Main.

Police identified Varela Jr. of Duncan and according to Branch’s report, he confessed to the alleged shooting and was placed under arrest and booked into Stephens County Jail.

Chief Ford said after several talks with witnesses, there seemed to be no relation between the suspect and the victim and said he was unsure of how many times Stone was shot at this time.

Ford stated that the medical examiner is continuing their examination at this time and he is waiting to see what their expertise is on how many shots were fired.

As of Tuesday afternoon, charges were not filed and Varela Jr. has not been before a judge.

This story is developing and The Banner will update with more information as it becomes available.

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