New details in the gruesome murder of two O'Reilly's employees shed some light on the mental state of the suspect, Theodore Sims.
The Temple Police Department identified the victims as 25-year-old Cody Glenn Cornell and 35-year-old Robert Joseph Pellerin III. Both were employees of O'Reilly Auto Parts, where they were found on Wednesday night.
Police arrested 47-year-old Theodore Dwyane Sims in connection with the double-homicide. Sims was a former employee of O'Reilly Auto Parts and of NAPA Auto Parts.
Sims is facing capital murder charges.
SIMS' TIME AT NAPA AUTO PARTS
NAPA Auto Parts has only been open since January 2018 - around the time Theodore Sims was hired after leaving O'Reilly Auto Parts.
Louis Sims, the owner of NAPA Auto Parts with no relation to Theodore Sims, said, "The last 48 hours have been more than tragic for our community, employees and for our friends at O’Reilly Auto Parts. Louis, Bryan and I along with our employees at Napa are heartbroken by the senseless loss of the two O’Reilly employees at the hands of such evil."
Sims was fired from NAPA Auto Parts for stealing cash under $100. He left without incident. His boss at NAPA Auto Parts said he would never guess something like this would happen.
THE DEADLY SHOOTING
Temple police responded to a welfare check at the O'Reilly Auto Parts in the 1700 block of SW H.K. Dodgen Loop around 11:35 p.m. Wednesday.
The significant others of the two victims contacted police when they did not come home after work. When police arrived on scene, they noticed the lights were still on and the doors were unlocked. This was unusual because it was past business hours.
Police entered the back office of the store and found both victims dead, lying face-down on the ground, according to the affidavit.
When the scene was examined by members of the Department of Public Safety Laboratories, they found that both victims were bound in duct tape and no shell casings were discovered.
It was also determined that Pellerin was shot twice in the head with a shotgun and Cornell was shot once in the head.
Police also reviewed video from Move-It Self Storage that showed a spray painted car pulling into the back parking lot of Monterey's Little Mexico restaurant, right next to O'Reilly's. The video showed a man retrieving an item out of the trunk of the car.
Later footage showed the man returning with a white object and another darker colored item towards the car.
Sims was apprehended by the Harker Heights Police Department at a Walmart gas station without incident around 2:19 p.m.
THE AGGRAVATED ROBBERY
Sims has also been identified in an aggravated assault at the NAPA Auto Parts on 1000 E 6th Ave. in Belton at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday night.
A police sergeant overheard scanner traffic that indicated the auto part store had been robbed, and he went to the scene to notify detectives of the possible link to the O'Reilly's incident.
The affidavit said that the two employees were visibly shaken and told officers they recognized the Nissan Altima when it pulled up into the parking lot. Police were told that the vehicle did not have its lights on, and it belonged to an ex-employee - Sims.
One of the victims told police that while they were leaving the store, the vehicle pulled up directly to them and the suspect pulled a shotgun from the front seat.
According to the arrest affidavit, Sims was dressed in all black and had a ski mask covering his face when he chased the two men with a shotgun. The victims recognized Sims by his build, walk and voice as he yelled, "don't run, don't run."
After the men ran away, Sims got in his car and left the area. No shots were fired in that particular incident and nobody was injured.
The affidavit said that a search warrant was obtained for Sims' vehicle and weapon - which still had blood on it. Detectives found a spent shell casing still in the shotgun and a white O'Reilly's store transmission box containing white plastic bags.
A pair of shoes and pants covered in blood were also found.
The affidavit also said that the suspect went to a local gun store and asked for the "cheapest shotgun" on the day of the killings - March 14.
Sims checked into the Lion Hotel in Killeen, and after he checked out, the housekeeper found a washcloth covered in blood.
Sims is being held at the Bell County Jail on a $500,000 bond. He is being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Both of the victim's bodies will be sent for an autopsy.
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