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Breaking News: One suspect in store owner's murder surrenders

Breaking News: Beaumont Police tell KFDM News one suspect in the shooting death of a Beaumont store owner has surrendered.

Watch KFDM News Tonight at 10 for reaction and stay with

In support of the Kuruppu family, please donate to the Metthananda Kuruppu Memorial Fund, established through Capital One, or visit the family’s GoFundMe account at:  

KFDM's Haley Bull is at the police station in downtown Beaumont. She's reporting police say the suspect is Chandler Kyle Ventress, 19, from Beaumont. He surrendered at about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. Police say he could face capital murder charges. He's not yet been charged.

Police say he's involved in the robbery and shooting that took the life of Mettha Kuruppu, 52, shortly after midnight Wednesday, April 29. A second person was also inside the store during the shooting.

Police say at 12:17 a.m. Wednesday, April 29, patrol officers responded to a hold up alarm at the Pick N Shop located in the 800 block of S. Major. 

When officers arrived they found the 52-year-old clerk dead from a gunshot wound. 

His funeral was this past Sunday. He's survived by his wife and two daughters. Family and friends say he was working long hours at his store to help pay for his daughter's education at Lamar University.

A GoFundMe account has been set up, and another bank account, to help the family with expenses and with college costs.

Detectives were able to view store video surveillance and at this early point in the investigation, it appears that at 12:13 a.m., two men armed with guns entered the store and attempted to rob it.  The clerk resisted and retrieved a BB gun and pointed it at the robbers.  One of the robbers then fired a shot that stuck the clerk.  The two robbers then ran out heading west on Landis.

The first robber appears to be either a black man with a light complexion or a Hispanic male.  He wore a bandana to cover his face and some type of gloves. 

The second robber had his face completely hidden and wore a light blue backpack.

Detectives are asking any person with information about this crime to call Crime Stoppers at 409-833-TIPS.  You will not need to give your name and if your information leads to the identity and arrest of the men responsible for this capital murder, you will be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1,000.    



Coming up at 10 pm
Stories we are working on for 10 PM 
A suspect a police say was involved in the murder of a convenience store clerk is now in custody

A boating accident in Orange injures several people.

Sour Lake's Karen Monk's bravery has been recognized by the Texas House of Representatives.

Officers: road debris poses threat to safety, drivers should report threats

SOUTHEAST TEXAS- Jessica Crawford

Officers say road debris can pose a big threat to Southeast Texas drivers.

"Not only do you have to worry about speeding vehicles and traffic that merges and changes lanes without signaling or looking, now we have to worry about road debris," says Beaumont Police Officer Christopher Cunningham.

Road debris put Cunningham in the hospital for six weeks in 2012.

"There was a 4x4 laying in the middle of the freeway. I struck that 4X4 about at 65 or 70 miles an hour on the motorcycle," says Cunningham. "It through my motorcycle up in the airside ways. Inverted me. Threw me on the pavement."

Monday morning, a truck driver was injured in Jasper after a piece of metal crashed through his windshield and nearly impaled him.

"Oh it can be a big threat," says Beaumont Police Officer James Robichaux. "It can cause someone to lose their life. I can be a small piece of rebar or a large pipe."

Robichaux has worked several crashes linked to road debris.

"Especially during all the construction time we're having up on the freeways and all through the city," he says. "You know, you've got a lot of trucks bringing construction equipment and pretty much anything that's related to construction is falling off trailers."

According to TxDOT, last year, it spent about $35 million cleaning up roadside litter including debris.

"Keep things in your vehicle," says Sarah Durpre with TxDOT. "Make sure you have things tied down if you're... loading something in your truck. Keep it safe for you, keep it safe for other drivers on the roadway."

Officers suggest keeping a distance of several cars between your vehicle and others to avoid the impact of debris. They also suggest driving within the speed limit.

If you spot dangerous road debris, officers say you should report it immediately. 

"Try to get that stuff reported and try to get it picked up because it can cause injuries and death," says Cunningham.


Orange deputies at boating accident scene on Sabine River
UPDATE -- A witness to a boating accident on the Sabine River about 6:30 Monday evening, who helped the injured boaters to safety, told police a boat with two people in it was speeding and hit a smaller boat with three people boaters.

All of the boaters were taken to a hospital, some with visible injuries including one with a broken foot.


ORANGE  -- The Orange Sheriff's Office reports it is working a boating accident on the Sabine River near the Bluebird Fish Camp in Orange County.  Our photographer on the scene has sent in photos.

Sewer problems? Who to call in Beaumont

BEAUMONT -- If you have a sewer line problem, follow the link to visit the City of Beaumont Water Utilities Department’s website. You can also report a water or sewer problem by calling the city’s 24 hour dispatch line 409-860-3221.

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