Despite Murder of Homeless Man, Bryan Police Say Downtown Safe

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

Its an area the city of Bryan is redeveloping. Its also the scene of the city's first homicide.

Tuesday morning, 20-year-old Dale Ellis was found bludgeoned to death in a vacant building on the corner of Pruitt and Main streets, in downtown Bryan.

"Bryan is still safe, the downtown district is a safe area,"said Bryan Police Officer Jason James. "We believe that this was an isolated incident and doesn't impact or reflect on the downtown area."

Bryan Police said Wednesday that they have persons of interest, but so far have made no arrest. Detectives climbed in the bucket of a city fire truck Wednesday afternoon, to get a bird's eye view of the downtown.

Ellis was homeless, and often stayed a few blocks down Main Street from where he was found, at Twin City Mission.

Twin City Program Director Steven Bethea says he's not sure who might have done this.

"I've thought about that for the last day," said Bethea. "This is just evil to me, and is this just random act of evilness, or was this somebody who might have known this person?"

Twin City Mission CEO Doug Weedon said Ellis was discharged from the mission last week, for not complying with rules.

"I allow people to enjoy the consequences of their actions," said Weedon. "When you choose not to follow our requirements, then you choose not to live at the mission."

The building Ellis took shelter in Monday night, was a vacant city property. Police said had they known about it, the incident would have warranted a criminal trespass arrest.

However, Robert Boyd, works across main street and said Ellis wasn't the first to take shelter in the green building.

"There are always people over there every single night, drinking, doing whatever they're doing over there," said Boyd.

"Kinda freaks me out a little bit, knowing people are getting killed 100 feet from where I park."

However, those who lived with Ellis, don't believe his death was random.

"There's a good chance we know who the person is," said Scott James. James said he came to know Ellis over the last several months, when they both lived at the shelter.

Ellis was a registered sex offender, and according to James, not liked by all of the mission's residents.

"He has like a past to him a little bit that people kinda held against him," said James.

Well-liked or not, his former roommates want answers.

"Everybody kinda wants to get to the bottom of it to figure out who is in our group that might be able to do something like that," said James.

Twin City Mission is offering grief counseling to residents and staff.

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