Police are investigating two apparently related crimes that ended Sunday with a homicide at the Costa Mariposa Apartments, 7555 Medical Center Drive.

An as yet unidentified 45-year-old man died of what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the head. He was found dead outside the apartment complex’s Building No. 12 just after 8:30 p.m., police said.

Police are awaiting a medical examiner’s report before releasing details, said Cpl. Allen Bjerke, Texas City Police spokesman.

“A witness who lives at the apartment complex heard the noise, came over and saw the young man next to the victim, then saw the man get in the victim’s vehicle and drive off,” Bjerke said.

The vehicle was a white Nissan Maxima with temporary Texas plates, number 4235OU3, according to police.

“We’ve confirmed the white car belongs to the victim,” Bjerke said.

Less than a half-hour earlier, Texas City Police responded to a call from the Metro PCS store at Mall of the Mainland Shopping Center, 5320 FM 1765, where two victims reported a black male, about 17 to 19 years old, wearing blue jeans and a white hooded sweatshirt, approached them in the parking lot and pulled a handgun, police said.

The gunman demanded the victims hand over keys to their red Honda Odyssey minivan, police said.

The victims complied and the gunman drove away in the van, police said.

The van was found at the Costa Mariposa Apartments during the subsequent homicide investigation less than an hour later, Bjerke said.

“At this time, investigators believe the suspect from the two offenses are one in the same,” Bjerke said.

Witnesses at the apartment complex reported the perpetrator was a thin, younger black male, about 5-feet, 10-inches tall wearing blue jeans and a white shirt.

Police found the white Nissan Maxima about 7:30 a.m. Monday at an undisclosed location in La Marque, Bjerke said.

Both vehicles were taken to the Texas City Police Department for processing. The victims of the Mall of the Mainland carjacking asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, Bjerke said.

Police have not identified the gunman, but have a general description of the man believed to have committed aggravated robbery and capital murder, Bjerke said.

Anyone with information about either case is urged to call the Texas City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 409-643-5720.

Mainland Communities Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest or charges filed in the case. Anyone with information who would like to remain anonymous should contact Crime Stoppers at 409-945-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com.

Kathryn Eastburn: 409-683-5257; kathryn.eastburn@galvnews.com.

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