Police find body in North End

Near the intersection of Prince and Quinn streets in Beaumont’s North End

Police have found the body of Sammie Lee Hightower III, a 32-year-old Beaumont man who was reported missing by police, near the intersection of Prince and Quinn streets in Beaumont’s North End.

According to a Beaumont Police Department press release, police found Hightower at 11:26 a.m. Thursday, May 30, some 100 feet from his residence and are investigating the death as a homicide.

Kayla Johnson, who lives next door to Hightower’s residence, said she befriended him six months ago when she moved in to her apartment on Prince Street. 

She said Hightower was “a good person” and she was shocked at his untimely death. 

Johnson went on to say police had been called to the home about midnight the previous night, and fights were common between Hightower and the mother of his children.  

“She’d just come over here with drama every day,” Johnson said. 

Overhearing their fights often, Johnson said she thought late Wednesday night was just another fight — until Hightower’s girlfriend made an ominous threat. 

“'I’m gonna get somebody to jack you and kill you,'" Johnson said she overheard. "‘Jack’ and ‘kill.’ She said it before she left.” 

Some three hours later, Johnson said masked gunman entered the home and soon after, Hightower was dead. 

Police are still investigating the case, and a suspect has not been named, but Johnson said at least three people including Hightower were inside, one of which told Johnson four gunmen surprised them about 3 a.m. 

“If his child’s mother didn’t have nothin' to do with it, she should’ve watched her words instead of saying that," Johnson said.