A man arrested last week and charged with capital murder in the deaths of three roommates, including a Fort Hood soldier, was linked to the crime through ballistics analysis and a second, anonymous soldier’s testimony, according to an affidavit released to Army Times Monday
The anonymous soldier told police he sold Barnard L. Morrow, 21, a 9mm handgun matching the one used to kill the three roommates in Killeen, Texas, this spring, the affidavit stated.
Morrow was arrested and charged with the murders of Spc. Freddy Delacruz Jr., 23; Asia Cline, 22; and Shaquan Allred, 23. All three were shot multiple times inside their unlocked apartment sometime after midnight on March 14.
Gunshots drew Killeen police to the apartment complex outside Fort Hood at roughly 1:40 a.m. There, they found Allred shot dead on a couch with a video game controller in his lap. Further inside the apartment, the officers found Cline slain in a bathroom and Delacruz killed on a bed.
Seventeen 9mm casings manufactured by Federal Ammunition, each head-stamped with “FC,” were recovered from inside the apartment. The casings were sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory in Austin for analysis.
A fourth female roommate was working at the time of the shootings. She told police that the four of them had a “strict policy” to lock all windows and doors to the apartment.
She gave detectives Morrow’s name and information, describing him as a “hot head,” and said the roommates had experienced issues with him in the past, according to the affidavit. She also told detectives that Morrow had a tan handgun that shoots 9mm rounds, calling him “trigger happy” and violent, but said she did not know of Morrow making any threats against the three slain roommates.
Morrow was someone who frequently came over to the apartment, the fourth roommate told police. If the door was unlocked, as police said it was, it meant someone who the slain roommates were familiar with was coming over, the fourth roommate said.
“Earlier in the night before the shooting, [the fourth roommate] had a phone conversation with Shaquan Allred and he told her that the suspect was supposed to come over the night of the shooting because they were supposed to smoke together,” the affidavit added.
Detectives surveilled Morrow for two days and on March 20 pulled him over after he entered a vehicle carrying a black backpack and committed “multiple traffic violations,” the affidavit stated.
A drug-sniffing dog conducted a “free air search of the vehicle” and honed in on the backpack. Inside, detectives found a clear plastic sandwich bag containing handgun ammunition, as well as a green and tan Canik 9x19 pistol loaded with 18 rounds of 9mm ammunition, each with an “FC” head-stamp.
Morrow was placed under arrest after the March 20 traffic stop for failing to wear his seat-belt. He was taken to an interview room and read his rights, which he said he understood, but waived those rights and agreed to talk to detectives anyway, the affidavit stated.
Morrow told the officers that he took the black backpack containing the handgun from a person playing basketball in a local park and ran home about three days previously, which would have been after the three homicides.
The Canik 9x19 pistol was then sent to the crime lab in Austin, which determined that it was the handgun that fired the 17 shell casings found at the scene of the triple homicide on March 14.
Additionally, police later interviewed an unnamed soldier who told them that he sold a Canik 9x19 pistol in July or August 2019 to Morrow.
Morrow was charged on Aug. 20 with capital murder of multiple persons and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Before he could be apprehended, Morrow fled Killeen and assistance was requested from the U.S. Marshals to locate him.
Morrow was ultimately found in Newton, Mississippi. He was arrested Friday at 6 a.m. without incident and was transported to the local Lauderdale County Jail while awaiting extradition back to Bell County, Texas.
Morrow’s cell phone later provided more evidence in the form of a video clip, dated Nov. 10, 2019, that showed him waving a green and tan pistol side-to-side. The pistol appears to be the same Canik 9x19 that Morrow was arrested with, police wrote in the affidavit.
Delacruz, a cavalry scout who joined the Army in 2017, is one of five soldiers stationed at Fort Hood whose deaths have been publicly linked to foul play this year.
In recent months, the high number of violent crimes on the central Texas installation and in the surrounding community have drawn the attention of the public and Army senior leaders. An independent command climate review is now ongoing at Fort Hood, which is home to roughly 35,000 soldiers. The review is expected to complete by November.
In a visit to the base earlier this August, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters the review, among other things, will attempt to identify causes of high crime rates in the area.
“The numbers are high here,” McCarthy said during his two-day visit to Fort Hood in early August. “They are the highest, in most cases, for sexual assault and harassment and murders for our entire formation — the U.S. Army.”
Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.