By Kim Powell
ODESSA - A white sheet stood behind the AutoZone on 8th Street Friday afternoon hiding what many feared the most--another homicide. "I just stopped and seen what was going on and I'd just seen the police and I was just trying to see who it was and did I know him or anything because you know, a lot of kids you know I raised, helped in the school district and I was just wondering if it was a kid that I know," Laura Johnson said.
"I wasn't expecting all of this, you know, first time I've seen anything like this," Bill Wooten, who lives nearby, said.
Dozens of Odessa Police officers investigated the crime scene for hours. They were called to the Kwik Kash just after 1 p.m. for a robbery. However, it was too late. Officers found the owner of Kwik Kash, 59-year-old James Avant, standing behind AutoZone. Avant told officers he had shot the robbery suspect who has now been identified as 37-year-old Andrew Mayweather.
"Officers observed a deceased subject, appeared to be a black male, and he was shot," Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police Department said.
Avant told police he was taking a cash bag from his car into the store when Mayweather approached him while he was inside of his vehicle. Mayweather then sprayed him with a type of pepper spray and began to hit Avant in his face.
Avant said Mayweather took the money bag and left on a bicycle. That's when Avant started chasing Mayweather behind AutoZone and the two exchanged gunfire. Avant was not hit, but Mayweather died on the scene.
Those who live right behind the businesses say they never expected anything like this to happen.
"I'm used to hearing gunshots and stuff here, you know, but it's gotten better until this happened," Wooten said.