Document: Port Arthur man killed with two different guns in violent encounter tied to marijuana sale

Published 12:28 am Thursday, April 7, 2022

Two guns were used in the January killing of Marcus Freeman in Port Arthur, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Time stamps on text messages coupled with surveillance video that captured the sound of gunshots led the Port Arthur Police Department to issue a warrant March 30 for the arrest of 18-year-old Dastacy Lawrence. Police have not located Lawrence as of Wednesday afternoon.

Freeman’s body was found Jan. 21 in a vehicle at Normandy Apartments. He had been shot multiple times. However, the court document suggests the victim died the afternoon before. He was previously reported to be 34 years old as his body was found on his birthday. 

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Officers found his cell phone in the floorboard of his vehicle, and found a stream of messages between Freeman and a phone registered to Lawrence that began at 2:54 p.m. The texts discussed the purchase of $5,000 worth of marijuana.

Within the messages, Freeman is told to go to Normandy Apartments, and later told where to park. At 5:59 p.m., the document states, Freeman tells the other person that he has arrived. Surveillance footage with the timestamp of 6:03 p.m. shows a man 20 yards from where Freeman would park one minute later. At 6:06 p.m., a second man is shown on video. At 6:06:34, gunshots are fired from what investigators said were two different guns.

“Thirteen 9mm shell casings were found, and analysis showed that at least two different guns were used,” the document says.

Additional video footage later located shows the two men together less than 10 minutes before the shooting.

After tracing the number Freeman was texting to Lawrence, police found the man in his apartment at Normandy Place. He reportedly admitted to sending the messages and said the second man shown on video was his friend, but denied being involved in the homicide.

Subsequent footage gathered from nearby Brittany Place Apartments captures the sound of the gunshots and allegedly captures the two men walking to Lawrence’s apartment five minutes later.

Det. Mike Hebert said Wednesday that a second arrest warrant has not been issued in the case.