Tips Lead to Teen's Arrest in Murder of South Arlington Convenience Store Clerk

Two people identify suspect after police release surveillance video of robbery, murder

Arlington Police Cruiser
NBC 5 News

The Arlington Police Department made an arrest in connection with the murder of Jordan Hightower, a convenience store clerk shot and killed in the overnight hours last Sunday.

Thursday morning, officers took 18-year-old Dorian Woodard, of Arlington, into custody without incident after two tipsters identified him as the gunman seen in surveillance video released earlier this week.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by NBC 5, after seeing news reports of the robbery and murder at the E-Z Mart on East Bardin Road two people came forward and identified Woodard to police.

In interviews with investigators, the tipsters said they not only recognized Woodard's stature and the distinctive clothing worn in the robbery but that he told one of them that he'd committed the robbery and shot the clerk after they got into an altercation.

Video surveillance of the robbery released by police earlier this week shows the suspect walking through the store and selecting items. The suspect then walks to the counter and police said Hightower begins ringing up the items. When all of the customers left the store, police said the suspect pulled out a gun, walked behind the counter and fired multiple shots before demanding Hightower open the register.

The Arlington Police Department arrested Dorian Woodard in connection to the murder of Jordan Hightower, a convenience store clerk who was shot and killed on Sunday, Jan. 17. Woodard's booking photo, above, is from a June 2020 arrest.

Police said Hightower tried to open the register but was unable to do so due to his injuries and that the suspect then shot him one final time before trying unsuccessfully to open the register himself.

The suspect then left the store, but returned and took multiple tobacco products and other items.

The tipsters said Woodward lived at the Bardin Greene Apartments with his father only a short distance from the convenience store and that a week before the robbery he'd shown one of them a handgun that detectives said was the same caliber used in the robbery. The tipster that told police Woodard confessed the crime to him said he'd also been told Woodard got rid of both the clothing and the gun used in the robbery.

At about 5 a.m Sunday, a customer went into the E-Z Mart and called 911 after finding the clerk on the floor behind the counter unresponsive with apparent injuries, police said.

“We owe a great deal of thanks to tipsters who provided crucial information in the case,” said Arlington Chief of Police Al Jones. “I am also thankful for the widespread news coverage of this case by local media, which enabled detectives to receive multiple tips that helped them to identify Mr. Woodard as the gunman who was captured on store surveillance video committing this crime.”

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Woodard's criminal history includes an arrest for an assault on a security officer but no convictions.

Woodard has been charged with one count of capital murder. Bail has not yet been set and it's not clear if he's obtained an attorney. If found guilty of capital murder in Texas, defendants face either life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death sentence.

Contact Us