Garland police nab suspect in convenience store murder

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by CARLA WADE and JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 23 at 12:11 PM

Store clerk found dead in Garland

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GARLAND — Garland police arrested 18-year-old Colten Jon Moore Wednesday and charged him with capital murder in the robbery and murder of a 7-Eleven store clerk.

Moore was taken into custody after a search warrant was executed in the 2900 block of Creek Valley Drive.

Bond was set at $1 million.

"I know there is a lot of fear in that neighborhood of what went on, but we feel sure that we’ve got the right person," Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said.

Moore was picked up at around 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon. Harn said surveillance video and expansive news coverage helped investigators get good leads.

Rewards totaling $25,000 were posted. Harn said it was ultimately one tip from an anonymous source Wednesday morning that helped police investigators zero in on Moore.

"We didn’t see any reason for him to shoot and kill him after he had robbed him, yet he did that," Harn said.

Records show Moore has been previously arrested in Brown County for possession of marijuana.

It was before daylight Tuesday morning when a man wearing a mask and carrying a rifle with a scope shot and killed store clerk Yosef Tulu and then walked right out the door with a bag in his hand.

Yosef Tulu’s brother-in-law, Andualen Shoro, talked with News 8 outside the family home, where a prayer meeting was scheduled and many local Ethiopian-Americans were gathered.

"It's good news... it's good to hear," Shoro said. "We are praying for the guy that killed him."

The convenience store is located at 2509 Northeast Firewheel Parkway in Garland.

The Oak Park School, a childcare center, is just across the street from the store where the 31-year-old immigrant was gunned down. Owner Renee Crissey said even though it happened hours before any kids arrived, she put the school on lockdown.

"We did go ahead and do outer doors all locked," Crissey said. "The kids didn’t go outside to play yesterday."

Oak Park has surveillance cameras. Some of them face the direction of the store. Crissey spent Tuesday going through all the footage hoping she might see something that would help police.

Garland police say tips poured in after they released surveillance video of the incident. Officer Harn said police had increased their presence in the area. Late Wednesday investigators briefly put up police tape and searched in bushes outside the store.

“We’re following up on everything,” Harn said.

Retired Marine Bob Sawyer has lived near the store for decades. The shooting made him angry.

“He killed that man for no reason at all,” Sawyer said. “I’m a disabled veteran, so there is not a whole lot that I can do to protect myself outside of trying to bash someone with my cane," he said.

Sawyer added he is keeping a closer eye on his neighbors and his surroundings.

Margaret Chabris, a 7-Eleven corporate spokeswoman, said the company has offered outside professional counseling services to store employees. She said the company will help Tulu’s family with the expenses related to transporting his body back to his family in Ethiopia.

A fund has been set up for donations through Chase Bank. The Account number is 555289953.

Friends will conduct a memorial for Tulu outside the store on Thursday evening at 6:30.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com and jpanicker@wfaa.com

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