Officers believe a man had severely beaten and stabbed the clerk in the restroom of the convenience store. That's where investigators found a broken wooden plunger. They think it may have been used in the brutal attack, describing the bathroom scene as 'very bloody.' Police also believe the clerk was beaten against the tile floor.
Customer Tasha Mitchell said, "I come here all the time, and I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was that bad for someone to be beaten like that."
Surprisingly, when police arrived on the scene and were conducting their investigation, they looked at the video from eight surveillance cameras inside the store and found that the suspect had been in the store for at least 22 minutes, at one point even changing his clothes. They believe he spent so much time in the store hoping customers would leave so he could take the money.
"For a portion of that time, he was hiding in the bathroom with the body," said Sgt. Thomas Biggs with the Houston Police Department. "Another portion of the time, he was out with the customers, trying to convince them to leave."
At one point, the suspect walked out of the store with stolen cash and cigarettes, which police say he dropped about a block away. A woman customer in the store saw blood that made her suspicious. She flagged down an officer, who was able to follow the suspect and make an arrest.
"I heard the news and I thought oh my God, I hope it's not the friend that I know, that's always so helpful," said customer Shirley Durr.
The suspect has been identified as Tony Mayfield, 26. Police say several witnesses identified him from lineups, and they add that he confessed to the crime.
Mayfield has been charged with capital murder. The 45-year-old victim's identity has not been released.