‘Scared for my life’

Shooting witness relives rampage that ended in death and murder charges

Melissa Khan had just finished helping a customer at the Vidor convenience store where she’s worked for the last decade when she looked out the front window just in time to see a white pickup truck barreling toward her at top speed in the early evening hours of Good Friday, April 6.

“I thought I was going to die,” a shaken Khan told The Examiner. “He came flying in here like an airplane.”

What Khan had witnessed was just a fraction of the saga she would soon see unfold in the parking lot of the 420 S. Main Street business.

“I’m thinking to myself – what is going on? What is happening here,” Khan explained. “Then he just plowed into a truck that was here waiting for a parking spot. It sounded really bad. I was so shocked someone would do that.”

The altercation continued.

“Not even a few seconds later, the guy gets out of his truck running at the guy he just hit. As soon as I saw him, I knew it was Rodger Allen, and he was enraged. Then, there’s gunshots.

“That’s when I thought, ‘Oh, my God. He’s coming for me next.’”

Khan’s next move was to run and lock the front door of the business. Before she could turn the latch, however, the store clerk was met at the entranceway by a man covered in blood. She vividly remembers the words he spoke.

“He said, ‘Call 9-1-1. I had to shoot him.’”

Shots fired

A police report filed at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office details the incident now ingrained in the mind of a traumatized Khan. According to investigating officer L.B. Cupit of the Vidor Police Department, the driver of the truck Khan saw speeding down Main Street was, in fact, 62-year-old Rodger Allen.

Other facts remain consistent between Khan’s recollection of events and the officer’s report. Allen was found to be driving at a high rate of speed when he rammed his truck into that of his former stepson, Kelly Gene Mitchell, who was in the parking lot of the Main Street store called Super Star Store. And Allen did leave his truck after the crash and advance toward Mitchell.

What happened next, according to Mitchell’s statement to police, is that “(Mitchell) got out of his truck and came around the door with the AR15 (.223 caliber rifle) in his hands. … As he got to the edge of the door, (Allen) was coming after him and he fired the AR15 from his waist, he didn’t remember how many times he fired, he just fired until (Allen) stopped coming.”

Mitchell then quit firing and went to ask Khan for help.

“He was hurt,” Khan said of Mitchell, “but I was too scared at the time to let him in. I had thought (Allen) had done the shooting. When I realized people were hurt and I had to help, I grabbed some paper towels and went outside. (Mitchell) just said someone was shot, not that someone was dead.”

Allen drew his last breath while Khan looked on in horror. But according to the store clerk, this wasn’t the first incident where Allen was in a physical altercation at the store.“(Allen) came in here a few months ago and beat up a man that works here. On his way out, he said he’d come back and shoot us all,” Khan said. “I believed he’d do it, too. Anyone ballsy enough to come into a store and fistfight the manager while (the manager’s) little son watches is likely to do anything.”

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