Shooting victim listed details of visit by suspect
Majid Hemmasi’s notes led police to man they arrested in his death.
The gunman made no demands. He said nothing. He just pointed the gun and began to fire.
The account given to police by the surviving victim of a deadly shooting last week in North Austin appeared in court papers made available Monday.
In an arrest warrant affidavit, the woman described the scene at the AAA Fire and Safety shop in the 6700 block of Guadalupe Street, where the store’s owner, Majid Hemmasi, was shot to death just before 8 p.m. Wednesday. Authorities also disclosed in the document how they found their suspect, 41-year-old Sidney Parker, and arrested him after a car chase that topped 100 mph. Parker was booked into the Travis County Jail on one count of murder and a second count of attempted murder with a combined bail set at $1.5 million.
Hemmasi’s death is the Austin police’s 17th homicide case this year.
Officers recounted in the affidavit how they arrived at the shop to find Hemmasi’s body next to a Ford pickup in the parking lot, and they described the trail of
blood inside the building from the surviving victim, who managed to come outside when police arrived. They noted the bullet holes that dotted the building and the spent shells that littered the ground.
Police offered one clue in the affidavit about why they believed “the circumstances of this shooting suggest it to be a targeted attack.”
The shooting came just days after a man matching Parker’s description showed up at the store after hours July 21 and got into a fight with Hemmasi that would leave the slain man so disturbed he wrote down a description of the man, the time, the date and the license plate number of the Nissan Versa in which the man arrived, the affidavit said.
Police traced the license plate number to a car rental company in Pflugerville that rented the car to a woman later identified as Parker’s girlfriend.
She also owned an Acura SUV that matched a vehicle seen in the store’s parking lot at the time of the shooting, officers reported in the affidavit.
Investigators soon began surveillance of the Pflugerville home shared by Parker and his girlfriend, impounded the SUV and took Parker’s girlfriend in for questioning, according to the affidavit. While in custody, she texted Parker that she was with police.
Police officers who were watching Parker’s townhouse saw him run shirtless into his car, a rented Hyundai, and drive away, the affidavit said.
Officers chased Parker, who reached speeds of 100 mph as he headed north on Interstate 35, according to the affidavit. Texas Department of Public Safety troopers joined in the pursuit and eventually pulled Parker over near Belton on FM 436 — nearly 50 miles away, authorities said in the affidavit.
During a search of the Hyundai, detectives found a Bushmaster rifle in the trunk with ammunition in the magazine that was similar to the shell casings found at the scene of the shooting, the affidavit said.
In an interview with police, a detective asked Parker if it was correct to say that his girlfriend had no knowledge of him shooting and killing Hemmasi. Parker replied, “Yes, that’s correct,” the affidavit said.
The detective then asked Parker if he meant to shoot the second victim, who survived. “I hit her?” Parker asked. The detective asked again if it was an accident. Parker responded, “I guess.”
An Austin police officer works the scene of a shooting Wednesday in the 6700 block of Guadalupe Street that left a store owner dead and another person injured. A suspect was arrested.