The city of Killeen has seen homicides at a rapid rate during the first three months of the year. Through three months, Killeen police have responded to 12 criminal homicides.
That’s three times as many as the city had from January through March in 2019, when four homicides were reported.
The 12 who have died this year range in age from 2 months to 63 years old. Most of the cases have not led to any arrests.
Killeen Police Chief Charles Kimble said he has seen a trend with the 12 homicides.
“We continually see family violence and lifestyle choices (drugs, illegal activity) and some mental illness as factors in these cases, and the assault cases that do not result in homicide,” Kimble said via email Wednesday.
Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra said he sees a similar trend.
“A lot of it is domestic,” Segarra said. “Sometimes, there’s only so much you can do with that.”
Segarra said the increase in homicides is something that the city doesn’t take lightly and encourages the community to be vigilant. Segarra said he regularly speaks to residents in KPD’s Citizens Police Academy.
“I tell them that they are our ambassadors,” Segarra said of his encouragement for them to begin Neighborhood Watch programs.
Firearms were used in 10 of the 12 homicides.
Kimble said he doesn’t know what has caused such a large spike in homicides.
“It would be hard for me to explain why any person would intentionally kill another and even harder to explain the spike in cases over the first three months of this year,” he said.
Segarra said he thinks the people doing the killing are just reacting in the moment and not thinking about the consequences and the impact their actions have on so many lives, including their own.
The changes in place due to the coronavirus is not having an impact on the department’s investigations, Kimble said. The detectives are still at work daily, continuing to investigate open cases.
From the city’s perspective, Segarra said the council is supportive of the police department.
“We continue to provide everything the police need,” Segarra said.
2020 Killeen homicides
- Jan. 8 — 32-year-old Michael Cirilo was shot at his home in the 2200 block of Jennifer Drive in central Killeen near West Jasper Drive. No arrests have been announced.
- Jan. 14 — 2-month-old Quan Kendrick Scott was killed, police said, when the child’s caretaker threw him into his car seat, fracturing his skull. Shanique Shaniel-Shavon Parker, 29, was arrested. She was charged with injury to a child with serious bodily injury on Jan. 23.
- Feb. 9 — 63-year-old Ann Evans was shot at her home in the 400 block of Wisconsin Street near North Gilmer Street in Killeen. No arrests have been announced.
- Feb. 10 — 27-year-old John Dearmontrice Mitchell was stabbed at his home in the 2300 block of Andover Drive near South Fort Hood Street in Killeen. Anthony Taylor Masters-Gutierrez, 27, was arrested after he went to Fort Hood and confessed the murder to a gate guard. He was charged with murder on Feb. 13.
- Feb. 10 — 19-year-old Teckla Domesca was shot at his home in the 1000 block of Cedar Drive near East Rancier Avenue. Jordan Henry Jessup, 21, was arrested in connection with the case. He was charged with theft of a firearm on Feb. 14. Police confirmed the gun found with Jessup was Domesca’s. No other charges or arrests have been announced.
- March 1 — 20-year-old Shelby Jones was shot at a nightclub in the 4300 block of South Fort Hood Street. Jones died at a nearby convenience store in the 3200 block of South Fort Hood Street. No arrests have been announced.
- March 14 — 22-year-old Asia Cline, 23-year-old Shaquan Markell Allred and 23-year-old Freddy Beningo Delacruz Jr. were shot in a triple homicide at the Summerlyn Apartments in the 4100 block of East Rancier Avenue in Killeen. No arrests have been announced.
- March 16 — 22-year-old Terrance Darnell Iles was shot in the 2900 block of Lake Road in north Killeen. No arrests have been announced.
- March 23 — 22-year-old Michael Steven Wardrobe was shot at his home in the 3700 block of Dustin Court near Elms Road in Killeen. Jovino Jamel Roy, 22, was arrested at a nearby convenience store after calling police to confess. He was charged with murder on March 25.
- March 29 — 20-year-old Kaitlyn Silverio, of Temple, was shot in the 3300 block of Hereford Lane. No arrests have been announced.
Stars and Stripes
The homicides have also captured the attention of military publication Stars and Stripes.
Jones, Allred, Delacruz Jr. and Wardrobe were all either on active duty or veterans when they were killed, the publication reported.
Roy served with the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, according to the article.