Police are searching for a Killeen man charged with an Austin murder on Easter Sunday.

Derrick Leroy Kuykendall, 21, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Bennie Heslip, who was shot in the chest during the early morning hours of March 31, according to the Austin Police Department.

Kuykendall’s bail is set at $350,000, although he is still not in custody.

A black male about 6 feet tall fitting Kuykendall’s description was seen leaving the crime scene in a dark colored, four-door Chrysler sedan, according to the affidavit from the Austin Police Department.

The shooting occurred around 3:15 a.m. in a paid parking lot at the corner of Trinity Street and East 11th Street in downtown Austin.

A confrontation erupted between friends of the victim and a female traveling with Kuykendall, who claimed the vehicle Heslip was in blocked the exit from the parking lot, the affidavit said.

After female members of both parties began to argue, witnesses said Kuykendall and Heslip approached each other and two shots were fired, according to the affidavit.

A Belton woman who was in the car when the incident occurred told police she heard Kuykendall confess to the murder on the drive back to Belton, the affidavit said.

Police were able to connect Kuykendall to the murder through an anonymous tip received on Saturday, according to the affidavit.

Contact Brandon Janes at bjanes@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7552

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