Arlington Man Arrested, Charged in Deadly Gas Station Stabbing: Police

Police said a motive is unclear in the stabbing

Arlington police department police car
NBC 5 News

A 55-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder in a July fatal stabbing of a 59-year-old Arlington man at a gas station, Arlington police said.

According to an arrest affidavit, police believe Ricky Ensley, 55, stabbed Robert Lopez, 59, multiple times in the chest in Lopez's car at an Arlington gas station, killing him.

A motive for the July 6 stabbing remains unclear, police said.

Police said Ricky Ensley, 55, was arrested and charged in a fatal stabbing of a 59-year-old Arlington man at a gas station in July.

Ensley had previous outstanding arrest warrants for cocaine distribution and theft charges along with others, according to the affidavit.

Detectives interviewed the 55-year-old man in the stabbing Aug. 3 before taking him into custody for the outstanding charges and being charged with one count of murder in Lopez's death.

On July 6, police officers were called to a Race Trac convenience store along the 3300 block of East Division Street, near Great Southwest Parkway, where an employee said a bleeding man walked into the store at about 1:11 a.m. and collapsed.

The man, identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office as Lopez, was taken to an area hospital where he died shortly before 5 a.m.

Police asked for the public's assistance in identifying a person recorded on nearby hotel surveillance video in July.

According to the affidavit, the same person was seen on surveillance footage from the Race Trac. He was later identified as Ensley.

An Arlington police detective spoke with an unnamed witness who said he saw a man by Lopez's car and confirmed that the man he saw was the man in the surveillance fooage.

Video surveillance did not capture the stabbing, police said.

It does show Ensley approach Lopez's car and "appear to engage in conversation" with Lopez, the affidavit said.

Another Arlington police detective received a tip from a friend of a second unnamed witness, who said he was staying at a Grand Prairie hotel on the night of the stabbing two blocks away from the gas station.

The second witness said a person named "Ricky" knocked on his door, told him he was in trouble and that he "stabbed someone at the RaceTrac," according to the affidavit.

After the witness identified Ensley from a photo lineup, the detective contacted the Ensley's wife. Ensley then called the detective and agreed to come to the Arlington Police Department, the affidavit said.

During questioning, Ensley said he went to a nearby hotel to purchase crack cocaine and got into Lopez's car to "listen to music with him," according to the affidavit.

Ensley also said he had never met Lopez and didn't know his name.

Ensley told the detective he left the vehicle and met with the second witness at the hotel, the affidavit said, but he claimed the meeting occurred the day after he was in Lopez's car at the RaceTrac.

Ensley then denied the stabbing.

According to the affidavit, the detective attempted to obtain an arrest warrant for Ensley after the interview.

The detective said Ensley "admits that he was only with the Victim inside his vehicle during that short timeframe when the offense occured" and that the second witness said Ensley "admitted to stabbing a subject at RaceTrac, a meeting in which [Ensley] confirmed occured."

According to the affidavit, the detective believed the evidence showed Ensley stabbed Lopez multiple times in the chest while inside Lopez's car.

However, police said a motive is still unclear in the stabbing.

Ensley was taken into custody for his previous outstanding charges and later charged with one count of murder in Lopez's death.

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