Update on Incident at 10441 Westheimer

November 20, 2007 - Charges have been filed against a wanted suspect in the shooting of a cab driver at 10441 Westheimer about 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 13).

The suspect, Lauren Raychelle Kirkman (b/f DOB: 10-24-89), is charged with murder in the 263rd State District Court. A photo of the suspect is attached to this news release.

The victim, a subcontractor for Yellow Cab Inc., is identified as Derick Bernard Byers, 39, of 4835 Ravenbridge. He suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital in critical condition. He was pronounced dead on Friday November 16, 2007 about 3 p.m.

HPD Homicide Division Sergeant M. Cruz and Officers D. Vasquez and J. Selvera reported:

Mr. Byers was driving his taxicab and dispatched to 6734 Sidney Street in southeast Houston where he picked up Kirkman. During the course of the cab ride, Kirkman produced a pistol and shot Byers in the back of the head.

Kirkman pushed or kicked Byers out of the cab at 10441 Westheimer and fled the scene. Byers was found lying on the parking lot of a Chase Bank at the Westheimer location. Paramedics transported Byers to Ben Taub General Hospital where he underwent surgery. During the scene investigation, it was learned the taxicab was found abandoned at 9850 Pagewood at the Westchase Forest Townhomes.

A follow up investigation developed Kirkman’s identity and involvement in this crime.

Homicide investigators learned there were four other robberies of cab drivers in the southeast Houston area, all happened earlier the same day (Tuesday). In three of the incidents, the suspect was described as a lone black female, while in one other instance there were two black female suspects. Witnesses and victims of these incidents positively identified Kirkman as the suspect. She is still at large and should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information on whereabouts of Lauren Raychelle Kirkman is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

Update: JGA/VHS 11-20-07
JFC/GO 11-14-07
Inc #166883807

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.