A speeding pickup truck, police say, provided the best clue in chasing down the man they believe is responsible for a deadly Alvin Street shooting Monday.
“Witness statements IDed the vehicle involved speeding from the location,” said El Campo Police Department Detective Justin Soza, the lead investigator in the case.
The maroon 2007 Chevrolet truck led officers to Patrick Shimek, 26, of 610 Fahrenthold. Shimek now sits in the Wharton County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond, held since he was taken into custody early Tuesday morning on a single count of murder.
Shimek stands accused of killing 32-year-old Justin Wayne Lipinski in the driveway of 1208 Alvin, the residence where he lived with his grandparents.
A dispute over what may have been a stolen vehicle part appears to have led to the shooting, Soza said, adding that, at this point, he believes Shimek is the only suspect. “But we’re always open to anything else,” he said.
The investigation, he added, is far from over as police continue the hunt for the handgun used in the crime as well as the search for witnesses and any pertinent information.
Anyone who knows anything about why or how the crime took place should contact Soza at 979-543-5311.
Police believe the shooting happened about an hour before Lipinski was found in the driveway despite the fact that the home is on a busy residential street.
Passersby likely wouldn’t have noticed anything odd, Soza said. “Somebody driving by would think he was working on the underside of the truck (based on how Lipinski lay).”
Shimek was found at a residence in the 4600 block of CR 357 where he had been staying. He was arrested without incident and confessed to the crime, according to police.
Shimek and Lipinski knew each other, Soza said, but added, “The suspect says they had been out of contact for some time.”
The Wharton County Sheriff’s Department and Texas Ranger David Chauvin provided assistance in the case along with the Texas Game Wardens and Department of Public Safety.
As the initial investigation wraps up, prosecutors will present it to the grand jury, but not the Wharton County District Attorney’s Office.
“After reviewing a search warrant in the early morning hours on Monday, I became aware of the name of the suspect. Since I previously represented the defendant while I was in private practice, and due to the possibility of any conflict of interest, I contacted the Attorney General’s office and requested they handle the case from here forward,” DA Dawn Allison said Friday.
“On Wednesday, an assistant attorney general was assigned. She was provided with an update on the case and any documentation we were in possession of. We also provided her with the names and contact information of law enforcement involved. We have had no involvement since,” she added.