According to investigators, Brian Miller is the estranged husband of the victim, identified as 36-year-old Crystal Lynn Patterson of Galveston.
Texas City police dispatch received a call at about 9:32 p.m. in reference to a stabbing at the Timewise Shell in the 400 block of Highway 146 and FM 1765.
When officers arrived, they found Patterson, a clerk at the gas station, unresponsive and not breathing. EMS on the scene confirmed she was dead.
"I just stopped by the store and got the bad news about Crystal," said Felica Gregory, who said she used to talk with the victim several days a week as she stopped in the store going to and from work. "I'm just devastated. We always talk and joke, and I just don't understand why this happened to her."
Less than an hour after the initial call, at about 10:14 p.m., a man called police dispatch to say that Miller told him he stabbed Patterson.
Texas City detectives and patrol officers arrived at Miller's home in the 900 block of Lane Road and detained him without incident.
"It's heartbreaking because Texas City ain't a very big city. We all help each other out and all know each other. Everybody in the convenience store is great staff. They are always friendly," said Wes Sirmons, manager at a Napa Auto Parts store nearby.
Sirmons says surveillance cameras at his store captured the moments surrounding the murder.
"About 9:30, I see a pickup truck pulled into my parking lot, parked behind the store. The man sits inside for a minute or two, jumps out, runs beside the convenience store, behind the dumpsters in the dark. He was there just a few minutes and comes running back, gets in his pickup truck and he left going back the opposite direction of where he came from," Sirmons described.
Sirmons told ABC13 he was glad his video helped authorities, but was saddened this happened in the community.
"Somebody needs help in the parking lot, they call us, we help them out. They are just great people. So it's really sad to see someone in a tight-knit community like this have to go through such a terrible tragedy," he said.
Miller's bond is set at $250,000.
He's being held in the Texas City jail and will soon be transferred to the Galveston County jail.