A day after charging a man in connection with the highly-publicized shooting death of a security guard at a luxury hotel, Galveston police said more charges could be forthcoming.
“We are still trying to find what involvement other kids might have had,” said Capt. Joshua Schirard, spokesman for the police department.
Authorities on Thursday charged Brandon Rashard Ledford, 19, of Missouri City in connection to the shooting death of Phillip Molis, 23, of Galveston.
Molis died six days after he was shot April 9 in a parking lot on Sias Street behind the San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center in the 5200 block of Seawall Boulevard.
Ledford’s murder charge is the second charge in connection to the case. Ledford has been jailed on a warrant in Fort Bend County since mid-April, jail records show.
“We had an idea and you have a person of interest,” Schirard said. “But, as we all know, it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.”
The murder charge was issued after investigators matched photos, crime scene evidence, DNA evidence and video surveillance from another island hotel to Ledford, Schirard said.
Tyronne Davis Haynes, 22, was the first man charged in connection to the incident.
Haynes was charged with criminal trespass shortly after he was arrested the night of the shooting, records show.
A Galveston County grand jury on June 22 followed that charge by indicting Haynes on one unrelated count of engaging in organized criminal activity, Assistant District Attorney Tiffany Alfred said.
Police on Friday were still investigating the possible involvement of a third man described in a probable cause affidavit released charging Ledford with murder.
The third man was allegedly with Haynes and Ledford the night of Molis’ shooting, according to the affidavit.
Molis, who was unarmed, was shot about 10 p.m. as he approached a group of men burglarizing automobiles in the parking lot, witnesses told police.
A hotel employee looking out a window saw three hooded men burglarizing cars and reported that to Molis, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The employee told police he watched as Molis approached the three men and saw him being shot, according to the affidavit.
The shooting set off a manhunt with dogs and helicopters through the neighborhoods immediately south of the hotel.
Police said they found Haynes hiding behind a fence nearby, according to the affidavit. He was wearing clothes similar to what had been described to police, according to the affidavit.
Investigators also found a 9 mm Beretta handgun in the 3200 block of Heron Drive and latex gloves near where Haynes was hiding, according to the affidavit.
Haynes told police he had been burglarizing cars in the parking lot and had left when he heard gunshots, according to the affidavit.
Haynes wouldn’t tell police who else was with him, but police found a cellphone on him, according to the affidavit.
Police identified the cellphone as Haynes’ girlfriend’s and interviewed her on April 11, according to the affidavit.
The girlfriend told police Haynes had gone to Galveston with Ledford and that she believed a third man took them, according to the affidavit.
Police searched the phone and found, among other items, pictures of Ledford holding a firearm similar to the one they found near the scene, according to the affidavit.
Police also received surveillance footage from a local inn that showed Ledford and Haynes apparently coming in and out the night of Molis’ shooting, according to the affidavit.
Officers set up surveillance as Haynes was released from jail on April 16 and saw Ledford at the jail and then leave in the passenger seat of a Lexus automobile, according to the affidavit. Police followed the Lexus, and after a chase, stopped a third man in the Lexus and placed Ledford into custody, according to the affidavit.
Ledford was wanted on a felony probation violation warrant in Fort Bend County at the time, according to the affidavit.
Police later visited Ledford at the Fort Bend County jail and served him with a DNA swab warrant, according to the affidavit.
Evidence from that test showed a strong match to items collected during the investigation, according to the affidavit.
Ledford was charged with murder and had a bond set at $1 million, Schirard said. He will eventually be transferred to the Galveston County jail from Fort Bend County, Schirard said.
Haynes’ status was unavailable Friday.