Family of slain 84-year-old Baytown man makes plea to find drive-by shooter

BAYTOWN, Texas – An 84-year-old man died on Aug. 19 after being shot in the back while walking through a Baytown neighborhood last week. His family members are asking for answers, and now the reward for information about the case has increased.

The Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to an arrest has been increased from $5,000 to $20,000 after several anonymous donors stepped forward.

Police said Sam Wingate was shot about 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 15 in the 9600 block of Pinehurst Drive.

Baytown police said the man and his friend were out for their morning walk when a vehicle drove up behind them. Someone in the vehicle fired a shot before the vehicle sped away from the scene, police said.

A Korean War veteran who served in the Navy, Wingate was a beloved member of his community and meant the world to his family.

“He was a loving man. He took care of me and her, always family first,” said Wingate's son, Donnie Wingate.

The bullet hit Wingate in the back. He was rushed to the hospital and was left paralyzed after undergoing surgery.

Immediately after he woke up, Wingate told his son he wanted out of the hospital to find out who shot him and why.

“That was his main driving force, it kept him going until Sunday. He wanted answers,” Wingate said.

On Sunday, Aug. 19, four days after he was shot, Wingate passed away as a result of his injuries.

“We have just got to find this killer who came and senselessly murdered our dad,” said Kelly Dando, Wingate’s daughter.

The day after the shooting, police released surveillance video showing the vehicle believed to be involved in the shooting. It was described as a light-colored, four-door sedan, possibly a Chevrolet, which is missing the front license plate.


The tips and leads that have come in, haven’t panned out.

Wingate’s family and Baytown police hope the increased reward money convinces someone who knows something to come forward.

Loved ones won’t rest until they get justice.

“I want to look the guy in the eye and find out what's the motive ... I don't get it,” Donnie Wingate said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Baytown Crime Stoppers at 281-427-8477.

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