AUSTIN -- Police are turning to the community for help in solving a downtown Austin murder.
On Monday police identified the victim as Bennie Heslip, 23. Officers say Heslip grew up in Caldwell, Texas and graduated from Hendrickson High School. He went on to attend Texas Southern University. Bennie had recently moved back to Austin and was working two jobs at a shoe store and a security company.
Police say Heslip was with a group of friends in a parking lot at East 11th Street and Trinity around 3:15 a.m. Sunday when another group approached them. The two groups got into an argument. That's when detectives say a man in the other group pulled out a gun and fired.
The gunman and three women took off in a dark Dodge and haven't been seen since. Detectives are now searching for all four of them.
“We're asking for anybody with any information on the black Dodge to come forward. That would help us out immensely in terms of figuring out who is the owner of that black Dodge. Anybody that was downtown that might have seen something that could help us further the investigation,” said APD Sgt. Brian Miller.
Police don't know whether anyone in the two groups got into an altercation earlier in the evening or not. They're trying to figure out exactly what sparked the fight in the parking lot and where everyone was prior to the shooting.
Detectives say at least two people had attended the Texas Relays earlier in the day.
Police describe the gunman as a thin black man with short hair about six feet tall with a lighter complexion. He is 20 to 22 years old with a thin, youthful "baby face." He has a thinner bridged nose and tight high fade haircut. He was last seen wearing a flannel long-sleeved shirt with a dark colored hooded vest and jeans. Officers say he faces murder charges for the shooting.
As for the three women with him, detectives say they just want to talk with them. One of them is described as 20 to 22 years old and overweight, last seen wearing a black dress. She had long hair extensions. The other two females were skinny with long black hair.
The four of them left the scene in a black four-door Dodge sedan which closely resembles a Dodge Avenger. APD received a tip that they may live in Waco.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the homicide tip line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text "Tip 103" + your message to CRIMES.