An hour before he was shot in the street on the east side of Texas City, Diajwan Triplett was threatened by two armed men at a gas station on the city’s west side, police said.
What caused the confrontation still was unclear Tuesday. But as the motives behind the shooting still were being investigated, police confirmed they had arrested one man in connection to Triplett’s death and believed they were close to arresting a second man.
Michael King, 21, of Texas City, surrendered to police Monday, according to the Texas City Police Department, and was charged with murder. King was held on $150,000 bond and was still in custody Tuesday afternoon, according to court records.
During an interview with investigators before he was arrested, King claimed the shooting was an act of self-defense, according to a criminal complaint disclosed Tuesday.
King is accused of being one of two men who shot and killed Triplett, 31, of Hitchcock, on a Texas City road Friday afternoon. A second man believed involved in the shooting had been identified but not arrested as of Tuesday afternoon, police said.
The criminal complaint released Tuesday revealed some details of events police suspect led up to the shooting, which occurred in the 1100 block of Third Avenue North about 2 p.m. Friday.
Triplett was shot while he was arguing with a woman in the street, according to the complaint. Two men approached Triplett during the argument, drew guns out of their waistbands, and shot Triplett, according to the complaint.
Triplett managed to drive away after being shot but crashed his car after only about a block, according to police. He was found wounded inside the car and was declared dead at a local hospital, police said.
Police initially said they had no suspects or descriptions of the men who committed the shooting and didn’t know the motive.
Investigators’ first clue about the suspects was an anonymous tip leading them to a gas station at the corner of South Bell Drive and Texas Avenue, on the west side of Texas City, according to the complaint.
Security camera video from the gas station showed Triplett there about 1 p.m., along with the woman he was later seen arguing with on Third Avenue, according to the complaint. King and another man approached Triplett at the gas station and pointed guns at him but left without firing, according to the complaint.
Police learned the gas station confrontation was preceded by another incident that involved Triplett, King and the woman at a house on Bell Drive, according to the complaint.
The fatal shooting occurred about an hour after the gas station confrontation, about 5 miles east of the gas station.
The day after the shooting, police issued a public appeal asking for information on the shooters. On the same day, detectives received a call from an attorney representing King. The attorney agreed to take King in to be interviewed, according to the complaint.
During the interview, King allegedly told police he believed Triplett had stolen guns from him, leading to the events at the gas station. King also told police the shooting on Third Avenue North was committed in self-defense, according to the complaint.
King allegedly told police he shot at Triplett because Triplett was reaching for a gun inside his own car, according to the complaint. Police said they found no weapons in Triplett’s vehicle, according to the complaint.
The second man wanted in the shooting also was suspected of being involved in the gas station confrontation, according to the complaint. Police found a car believed to have been used in the shooting at the man’s girlfriend’s house. When police arrived at the girlfriend’s house, they found two women “wiping the vehicle down,” according to the complaint.
Officers told the women to stop touching the car until police could process it for evidence, according to the complaint.