After a 10-second road rage altercation, a Houston preacher was fatally shot, according to authorities
Rev. Ronald K. Mouton, the pastor of the East Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, was shot in the chest and killed last Friday after a 10-second argument with another driver on the Gulf Freeway in Houston, Texas, police said Wednesday.
Investigators from the Houston Police Department said that surveillance video from the scene shows that the pastor, who was driving a BMW, and his suspected killer, who was driving a black Honda Accord, stopped along the freeway before the shooting.
Police say that the two seemed to argue for about 10 seconds before the Honda driver shot the pastor in the chest, causing him to lose control of his car and crash.
Mouton, 58, crashed shortly after 5 p.m. on the southbound lanes of the 6400 Gulf Freeway near Gould Street. The pastor’s wife, four children, and ten grandchildren will miss him.
A surveillance video, according to the police, also shows that several cars have stopped behind the two cars. Investigators are hoping that someone saw the suspect or his license plate.
At a press conference at East Bethel Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday, faith leaders, elected officials, and Mouton’s family members asked his killer to come forward and take responsibility for the murder.
Authorities also said that the reward for information that leads to the suspect’s arrest has been raised from $5,000 to $25,000.
Roland Mouton, the late pastor’s twin brother and a pastor in Louisiana, said at the press conference, “We’re not looking for revenge, but I think there’s something we’re owed, and that’s justice.”
“If you have a heart and a conscience, help us get over our hurt and anger, and give us the justice we deserve.”
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, asked everyone at the press conference to face the pulpit and observe a moment of silence in honor of the late pastor. She said there were not enough words to describe how much Mouton’s family and the rest of the community would miss him after he died.
“I want the whole town to know how bad our loss is. It’s just awful. It can’t be put into words. Jackson Lee said, “It can’t be made, it can’t be described, and it can’t fit in this room.”
“You killed a pastor, a person whose every instinct is to help you when you’re in trouble,” she said to the killer, who was still unknown. “You took that away from the East Bethel Baptist Church members.”
Crime Stoppers of Houston has offered a reward of $15,000 for information that leads to the shooter’s arrest. HPD officials said that billionaire businessman Tilman Fertitta also gave an extra $10,000 toward the reward on Wednesday morning.
On Sunday, July 3, at 5 p.m., faith leaders, family members, and other community members will gather at Palm Center for a prayer march for justice. On July 8, Mouton’s life will be remembered at Community of Faith Church, and on July 9, another memorial service will be held at East Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
Anyone who knows something that could help catch the suspect should call HPD or Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS (8477). You can give Crime Stoppers information online or through their phone app.