Four people have been arrested on murder charges in connection with the Sept. 16, 2019 shooting death of 24-year-old Vance Henry Helzer of Kempner. The Lampasas County Sheriff's Office reported the following are in custody on murder charges:
- 18-year-old Matthew Isaiah Lawson,
- 19-year-old Markevious Rayshun Myers of Copperas Cove,
- 19-year-old Kashawn Anton-James Ratliff; and
- 18-year-old Javier Kristian Gutierrez.
On Sept. 16, 2019, the Lampasas County Sheriff's Office received a report of a man with multiple gunshot wounds at an address on Pecos Lane in Kempner. The wounded man -- Helzer -- was pronounced dead at the scene, and an investigation began immediately.
LCSO Criminal Investigator David Thorp and Texas Ranger Adam Russell assumed responsibilities for the investigation and worked on the case for several months.
Ultimately, authorities identified four suspects in the case.
In a news release, the sheriff's office said a follow-up investigation revealed Helzer was in a dispute about money, and the four suspects drove to his residence to confront him. Helzer was shot within seconds of when the suspects arrived, the sheriff's office said.
The sheriff's office said the four suspects then fled the scene of the shooting and conspired to conceal the crime.
Assisting the Lampasas County Sheriff's Office in the investigation were the Lampasas Police Department, Copperas Cove Police Department, Killeen Police Department, Milam County Sheriff's Office, Coryell County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers and U.S. Marshal's Office.