Why did the person suspected of killing of gym instructor Missy Bevers dress in police tactical gear concealing their identity?
Veteran prosecutor Toby Shook has a pretty educated guess.
He thinks the killing of the Red Oak wife and mother of three was anything but random and that the person was trying to “get the drop on the victim … to make them think you’re police so that they can feel safe around.”
Bevers, 45, arrived around 4 a.m. Monday at the Creekside Church of Christ in Midlothian to teach a fitness class. By then, the suspect had already been inside for a half-hour.
Motion-activated cameras show the person wandering around from room to room. The person was wearing a bulletproof vest with the word “POLICE” on both sides, as well as a helmet concealing their face. They appeared to be carrying a tool used to break windows.
A search warrant obtained by News 8 Thursday shows Bevers suffered a wound to the head from an unknown instrument. It’s not clear at this point if police have determined what that instrument was or if it’s been recovered. Police also recovered an iPad and planner from her truck.
Her body was found by several students who had arrived for the class. She had posted on Facebook that she would be teaching a class that Monday.
At this point, police have not said if they have any suspects in the case or even a motive. News 8 saw three FBI agents at the Midlothian police headquarters. Sources told News 8 that they were there providing case management assistance much the same way as they did in the Williams case.
A day before, News 8 was there when an ATF dog was taken inside the church to check for gunshot residue. The Texas Rangers are also involved in the case.
Bevers’ husband, Brandon, arrived at police headquarters with a friend around 2 p.m. Thursday. His brother, Chad Tucker, told News 8 that he came there to make arrangements to pick up his wife’s truck.
He was out of town at the time of the murder. He had traveled to Mississippi for a long-planned fishing trip. He told News 8 earlier this week that he had talked to her the night before on the phone.
“She was a great woman and a great wife, a great friend and she will be missed by many people,” he said in the earlier interview.
Tucker told News 8 by phone that the family is shocked by the killing.
“There was nothing that would indicate any kind of worry or anything like that,” said Tucker, a local chiropractor. “It is just so bizarre. I don’t know why anybody would do this.”
Tucker says his brother’s fishing trip was anything but spur of the moment.
“This trip was planned over a year in advance,” Tucker said. “The one thing other than his family that makes my brother happy is the ocean. The ocean is his heaven and that’s why he was there.”
Shook, a former prosecutor, said when he saw the video of the person inside the church, the name that immediately came to mind was none other than Eric Williams, the man convicted of killing former Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, his wife, Cynthia and top prosecutor in 2013. He is now on Death Row.
Williams was dressed in police tactical gear when he broke into the McLellands’ Forney home and gunned them down with an assault weapon. He also was wearing goggles and a police vest.
“He wanted to wear police uniforms so that the McLellands would think that he was with the sheriff's office and they would let him in the house,” Shook said.
Shook also says that the person was most definitely not behaving like a burglar. A typical burglar is going to get in and get out, not spend time wandering around the building.
“You don’t dress as a police officer and break into a church,” Shook said.
In fact, he and other homicide experts think the person seen walking around in that video may not even be a man at all.
“It could be a woman,” he said. “There's no way to say for sure. A person at least in one of the videos that has been placed on TV doesn't walk like a man.”
Shook says, like the Williams case, he believes this murder investigation will have many twists and turns.
“It's going to have some surprises in it when it's solved I'm sure,” he said.