|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - December 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Man gunned down in home invasion
Trinity Standard - December 2008
TRINITY – Three masked men were being sought this week in connection with the murder of a 19-year-old Trinity man last week.
According to Trinity Police Chief Steven Jones, Lakendrick Simmons was gunned down in a Smith Street residence during a Dec. 11 home invasion.
“We think the shooting may be drug related although we know the victim was not involved in drugs,” Jones said.
The police chief said Simmons had been staying on a temporary basis at the Smith Street residence and was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Officers in Huntsville and San Jacinto County are seeking the same three suspects for two other home invasions that occurred later that night.
“At this time, we don’t think the three suspects are local men. We think they came from another town with the idea of committing a home invasion,” he said.
After leaving Trinity, they are thought to have gone to Huntsville where another home invasion occurred in which a man was severely beaten.
The third invasion occurred in San Jacinto County at a residence near New Waverly. In that incident, a Jeep Cherokee was stolen that was later recovered by Montgomery County officers.
The police chief said in all three cases, the suspects may have been searching for illegal drugs.
Jones said the local murder occurred about 10:50 p.m. when the three masked men knocked on the door of the Smith Street residence.
Simmons answered the door and the three men entered. Shortly after entering, one gunshot was fired and Simmons was fatally wounded when he was struck in the chest.
He was subsequently pronounced dead at East Texas Medical Center – Trinity.
“The victim was not alone in the residence at the time of the shooting. Two adult females and two children under the age of five were also there, but they were in back rooms,” he said.
Jones said the murder was a tragedy for the Simmons’ family and asked the community to keep them in their prayers.
“He was a good kid who was never in any real trouble. He was an innocent bystander who got caught in a crime spree being committed by three armed men,” Jones said.
Jones is asking area residents with any information to either contact him directly at the Trinity Police Department, 594-2505, or contact the Trinity County Crime Stoppers program anonymously by calling 642-2334.
“Crime Stoppers was created by citizens so that citizens can provide tips to law enforcement anonymously,” he noted, adding that cash rewards for valid information are paid by the Crime Stoppers program.
While this was the second murder to have occurred in the same Trinity neighborhood during a two-week span, Jones said the incidents were not related.
“In the first case, we had two local men who got into an argument which escalated into a shooting. This case is very different. We have three armed men wearing masks committing home invasions,” he said.
The first murder occurred Nov. 28 on Lue Street near its Smith Street intersection. Jason Johnson, 23, of Trinity was shot twice and later died at ETMC-Trinity.
Cornelius Womack, 18, of Trinity surrendered to police after the shooting and was subsequently charged with murder after Johnson died.