Baffling Murder Doesn't Deter Brenham PD

Police are looking to unlock a murder mystery.

Who shot 22-year-old Alex Martin?

Norris Pruett and a business associate were just down the alley from the apartment where the shooting happened. "He said it sounded like shots," Pruett said, "so we went outside and we saw a few people out. We couldn't recognize who they were because it was so dark, but they had filed out before the police got here."

In cases like this, police often rely heavily on witnesses. Unfortunately for Brenham PD, those reports are in direct conflict with each other. Some near the scene Friday night say they saw Hispanics. Others, African Americans. Some saw a light brown car speeding away. Others, a green car.

Chief Jay Petrash says someone has the truth. They just don't know who.

"When you're dealing with certain groups of people and certain criminal activity, a lot of people don't want to talk about it," Petrash said, "either because of fear, or they didn't see it, or they're scared to say something. So we're following a bunch of leads now."

Those who live and work around the apartment building say after 8 PM, it's normally very quiet. Just a few skateboarders were here according to witnesses. But whoever was here, it's fairly obvious by the lack of lights that it was dimly lit when the crime occurred.

"Not too many people come through here," said Pruett, "mostly trucks and stuff going to the food depot here. But other than that, not too many people go through here."

Any evidence police can gather is critical. They believe Martin was alone at his cousin's apartment when he was taken down. He was shot between two and four times. They await ballistics reports in addition to an autopsy.

Police have even taken a look at surveillance cameras inside the gas station out front of the apartment. The man who manned the station Friday night, who declined to speak on our camera, says there aren't any of his cameras outside, and that he saw and heard nothing that night.

"The guy that got shot, I had one engagement with him because his vehicle wouldn't start," Pruett said. "I helped him get it started out here in the back one time. But not much went on back here. It's usually pretty quiet."

But the first murder in Brenham since 2003 broke that comfortable silence.

If you have any information on this crime, you're asked to call Brenham Police at 337-7272.


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