- Associated Press - Thursday, May 14, 2020

HOUSTON (AP) - A heroin purchase in Houston prompted a triple killing spree that also left one person wounded, according to court records.

Joshua Kelsey, 35, was charged Wednesday with a second murder count for his connection to the three fatal shootings on May 6 in southwest Houston.

Kelsey was already jailed on murder and capital murder charges last week. Court records did not list an attorney for Kelsey.

The shootings happened within an hour but in three different locations in the city.

The killings unfolded when Kelsey joined Louis Hodges and another man in a car to go buy heroin. The pair gave $40 to Kelsey, who directed them where to drive, according to court records. Their destination wasn’t included in the records, the Houston Chronicle reported.



Kelsey ordered both men to get out of the car while pointing a pistol at them. He killed Hodges and struck the other man, who ran away from Kelsey, court records indicate. Kelsey then left in the car, which belonged to the surviving man’s family.

The subsequent shootings happened in the victims’ separate homes.

Investigators accuse Kelsey of killing Michael Miller, 60, in his home after the results of a ballistics investigation linked him to the crime scene. Court records indicate that the new murder charge stems from this shooting.

Miller’s roommate said she hadn’t seen Kelsey in four years but that she knew he was spiteful because she and Miller removed his trailer from their property, according to police.

Police said Kelsey blamed Miller and his roommate for him being homeless.

The third shooting killed Juan Garcia at his front door, officials said. Witnesses from inside the home said they heard someone tell Garcia, “I’ve got something for you” and then gunshots.

Police initially said the triple shootings were caused by a shortage in illegal drug supply due to the coronavirus pandemic. The court records, however, don’t mention the role of that shortage in the killing spree.

But police believe the nearly 50% uptick in homicides in Houston this year may be caused by the illegal drug shortage.

There have been 121 homicides in Houston so far this year, a 49% increase on the 81 during the same period in 2019, Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said.

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