The Texas Tech student is currently in police custody at the Lubbock County Detention Center and his bail was raised to at least $5 million — formerly $500,000.
Steven Wheeler, chief of the Slaton Police Department, said originally Oguntope, a Houston native, was a person of interest regarding the homicide and he was detained at the Detention Center on charges of theft.
Slaton police found Faye Gray, 89, and her female caretaker, 21, had both sustained gunshot wounds. Gray was pronounced dead at the scene while the younger woman was transported to University Medical Center for treatment. Her condition is described as stable.
Lubbock police asked that the caretaker’s name not be revealed because of the sensitivity of the case.
Wheeler said the police are not releasing any additional information regarding charges against Oguntope at this time.
Members of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s office were dispatched to 1480 W. Crosby St. in Slaton to assist the Slaton Police Department with a homicide investigation, according to a news release by the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office.
Wheeler said at 8:12 a.m. authorities received a complaint that a black male had made contact with a Slaton resident and was asking personal questions, including what times the resident went to work and would return home. Wheeler said the resident said Oguntope was asking if a woman around 21 years old lived at the home.
Authorities later received information that Oguntope’s white Honda was found at the Knights Inn on Highway 84 near Slaton.
When police confronted Oguntope at the inn, he told them he was looking for a woman he had been talking to and went to the wrong address.
When confronted about why he was at Knights Inn, Oguntope said he wanted to use the hotel’s wireless Internet.
According to a statement released by the Slaton Police Department, “Sampson did not seem to be nervous or act suspicious to the officers (and) Sampson was not wanted for any warrants at the time of this contact.”
The Slaton Police Department then received a call at 11:48 a.m. claiming there was a white female bleeding within the 1400 block of West Crosby Street in Slaton.
Wheeler said Lt. Trevor Barnes was the first officer on the scene and advised the police chief to investigate a residence near the end of the 1400 block. Wheeler said he and Slaton detective David Wood arrived at 1480 W. Crosby St. and found an elderly woman dead at the scene, appearing to have sustained a gunshot wound.
Barnes and another officer told Wheeler that the younger victim stated the intruder was a black male with a white car.
“I immediately had officers clear the house to make sure the suspect was not still in this residence,” Wheeler said. “I then contacted the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department and Texas Rangers to assist. I had my dispatch put out a state-wide search for the vehicle and possible suspect.”
Wheeler said Lubbock County police arrived at the scene shortly after, where they collectively decided to lock down the crime scene and begin searching houses nearby to assure there were no more victims. Wheeler also said they were assisted by the Lubbock County SWAT team and the Department of Public Transportation launched an air unit to aid in the search.
“I want to personally thank Lubbock County Sherriff’s Department, DPS Highway Patrol, Texas Rangers and Texas Tech PD in their efforts in assisting my agency,” Wheeler said. “We have had so many resources helping solve this crime but more importantly keeping this suspect from injuring more people.”
Wheeler said authorities discovered the person of interest lived in Lubbock and was enrolled as a student at Tech. After contacting the Texas Tech Police Department, they found Oguntope’s vehicle was entered under Tech property. Tech PD, DPS and the Texas Rangers tried locating him on campus, and the Lubbock SWAT team set surveillance on Oguntope’s residence in north Lubbock at 3620 Marshall St.
Oguntope was arrested in Lubbock at his address. The Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office said two other individuals — Charles Henry Burgess, 28, and Philip Michael Murphy, 26 — were also arrested for attempting to prevent officers from conducting an investigation at the property.
“As Chief of Police for the City of Slaton I want to ensure our community that the Slaton Police Department works hard every day so that we have a safe community,” Wheeler said. “Slaton is a small farm town and our community pulls together like family. This is a tragic event and our prayers go out to the victims and their families.”