Third Suspect in Valero Slaying in Custody

Suspects were regular customers, knew clerk killed

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Daniel Rojas-Torres died after police say three men shot him during a robbery while he was working at a Valero gas station.

    The third suspect in a deadly convenience store robbery in Fort Worth was arrested Saturday night in San Antonio as surprising new details surfaced about the cold-blooded gunmen.

    The suspects worked at a car lot right next door, were regular customers, and knew Daniel Rojas, the attendant killed at the store, according to two store employees who spoke under the condition their names not be used.

    Three Men Behind Bars in Convenience Store Shooting

    [DFW] Three Men Behind Bars in Convenience Store Shooting
    Fort Worth Police: the suspects in the murder of Daniel Rojas worked next door. (Published Monday, Mar 29, 2010)

    One clerk speculated Rojas, 23, was killed because he was able to recognize the men even though they had covered their faces and worn gloves.

    "They were in here five times a day," the co-worker said. "Now I feel like I can't trust anybody."

    A police spokesman, Sgt. Pedro Criado, confirmed the men worked at the car lot.

    Incredibly, the victim's co-workers said just hours after the murder, the suspects were at work at the car lot and feigned surprise about what had happened.

    The employee said two of the suspects mingled with him, a co-worker, and the gas station's owner and offered their condolences -- all as police swarmed the crime scene.

    "One of them even talked to a cop outside and asked him how the investigation was going," the clerk said.

    Investigators have not revealed what led them to obtain arrest warrants for the three men on Friday. Two were arrested that day, but the third, Kwame Rockwall, fled, police said.

    A tip Saturday led authorities to San Antonio, where a U.S. Marshal's fugitive task force closed in on him. His car was spotted outside a fast-food chicken restaurant, police said.

    Rockwell ran from officers and into a convenience store, where he locked himself in a bathroom, police said. He was hit with a Taser and taken into custody.

    The deadly robbery, recorded by several cameras in a graphic surveillance video, happened about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday at a Valero station on Mansfield Highway.

    Rockwell, Randy Seibel, and Chance Smith, are charged with capital murder. Seibel and Smith were arrested on Friday.

    The crime was the most brutal in Fort Worth in recent memory.

    The gunmen barged in and shot a 70-year-old delivery driver for Mrs. Baird's bread and then Rojas, police said. The driver remains in the hospital but his condition has not been released.

    Surveillance video shows Rojas complied with the bandits' demands, gave them money, and held his hands up. One of the gunmen grabbed the clerk's neck and appeared to shove him around the counter.

    In a dramatic part of the video not publicly released, Rojas is seen crying on the floor right before he was shot in the head, police said.

    A sizable amount of money was taken in the robbery, police said. It was not immediately clear if police had recovered any of the cash.