Police search for motive in slaying of ex-con outside parole office

By Amanda Perez , Phil Archer - Reporter

HOUSTON - Houston Police don't yet have a suspect or a motive in a murder outside a northwest Houston parole office which appears to have been planned. A parolee was shot as he sat in his truck in the parking lot around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The office is in the 4900 block of West 34th St.

Several witnesses said they saw a man dressed entirely in black in the parking lot an hour or more before the shooting and assumed he was a parolee waiting to see his parole officer.

"I waved at him when I drove in, he waved back," Michael Cagle said.

He first noticed the man, who was wearing a black backpack at about 7:30.

An hour later, Adam Navarro said he heard five shots in the parking lot as he was walking in the front door of the parole office, and then heard five more.

"We heard more shots" Navarro said. "That's what attracted everybody else inside. When I opened the door you heard the five more shots, and everybody came running out afterward and the guy took off running."

The victim was found slumped inside a parked pickup truck. The gunman had fired through the driver's side window. Police say they are not sure how many times the victim was hit. At least 10 shots were fired with either a large caliber pistol or a rifle according to investigators.

"This male opened fire on him while sitting in the truck." Sgt Thaddeus Pool with the HPD homicide division said.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said the victim, identified as parolee Marcus D. Celestine, had gone to the office Tuesday to report to his parole officer and the meeting went as planned.

The TDCJ says Celestine, 43, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for aggravated robbery and murder in 1994. He was released on parole in 2007.

Houston police believe the gunman left the scene in a white, four-door sedan. He's described as a black man, last seen wearing a black cap, shirt and pants and carrying a black backpack.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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