Minor traffic accident leads to fatal shooting, manhunt
UPDATE: Detectives do not feel the shooting death of Dominique Reed was a random act, Beaumont Police said in a press release, adding that Reed and her unidentified killer likely had a "prior connection."
A minor collision Thursday, April 3, at the intersection of 11th Street and Laurel Avenue between a sedan and a pick-up truck turned deadly after an argument between the two drivers ensued.
The driver of a dark-colored, older model GMC or Chevrolet pick-up truck, described by witnesses as a short heavy set Hispanic male wearing a T-shirt and as "cross-eyed," pulled out a rifle and shot and killed the driver of a gray, four-door sedan, said Sgt. Rob Flores. The sedan's passenger took off running, and the driver of a third vehicle who stopped to offer help was shot and injured, Flores said.
Around 4:37 a.m., Flores said police received a 911 call from the passenger of the sedan.
"The female caller stated that one of the people involved in the crash was brandishing a rifle," Flores said. "The call disconnected at that point, so the caller hung up. When 911 operators called her back, she said the man had just shot her friend."
The driver pronounced dead at the scene was later identified as 22-year-old Beaumont resident Dominique R. Reed. The caller, the passenger in the sedan, was not injured, Flores said.
"As she was trying to run away, a third party stopped, unrelated to them, a third party stopped and tried to help. When that man stopped, the shooter then shot him. He has a gunshot wound and EMS transported him to St. Elizabeth (hospital in Beaumont). He is listed in stable condition right now," Flores said.
Flores said the shooter immediately left the scene heading south armed with a rifle.
"We did an immediate, extensive search of the area but did not find the man," Flores said in the hours after the shooting. "We're interviewing witnesses right now, hoping to determine his identity."
Police closed down a two-block area around 11th and Laurel to traffic, which remained closed for most of the morning as police collected evidence.
Traffic shut down near Central Medical Magnet High School and St. Anne's Elementary School delayed the start of classes for two hours, Flores said.
Eleventh Street was re-opened around 10:30 a.m. It is likely the suspect in the shootings is no longer in the immediate area, Flores said. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.
"There is some prior connection between the two females in the car and the shooter," BPD said in a press release Friday, the day after the shooting. "Detectives are working to determine the nature of that prior connection. This did not appear to be a random act. We have never characterized this tragic incident as an act of 'road rage' or a random act."
Detectives continue to work to determine all the true circumstances surrounding Dominique’s death, and it is still very early in the investigation, the release states in an apparent effort to slow speculation about the shooting. Police say that speculation is not only potentially damaging to the integrity of the case but also hurtful for family members left to deal with Reed's death.
Judge Nancy Beaulieu ordered an autopsy on Dominique R. Reed. That autopsy was scheduled to be performed Friday morning, April 4. Anyone who has information about his identity is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (409) 833-TIPS to leave an anonymous tip.