SAN ANTONIO TX Jan 22 2017 – It has been 23 years since burglars shot and killed James Fogle, an on-duty security guard at a South Side Walmart. The people responsible have never been caught.
San Antonio police have reopened the case in hopes of finding Fogle’s killer.
The first steps to warming up a cold case: taking a fresh look at old evidence.
The evening of Jan. 20, 1994, started like any other for Fogle.
The 30-year-old was sitting in his car outside the store in the 900 block of South East Military Drive, writing his nightly activity log. The last entry was around 1 a.m.
Police believe that things took a dramatic turn.
“There was an alarm going off, so we believe that caught his attention,” said SAPD Detective Michael DeLeon. “He exited his car to go investigate what was happening at the front of the store. As he was walking away from his vehicle, this is when he was, we believe, confronted by these would-be burglars. Mr. Fogle made a run for the front door and was shot in the back multiple times, killing him instantly.”
Police know of only one witness: a security guard who was working at the Taco Cabana across the street. He heard the shots and called police.
‘We don’t have anything on video to help us’
While many Walmart’s are now open 24 hours, that wasn’t the case in 1994. The store closed overnight, allowing employees to restock shelves and clean up.
Unlike most businesses today, stores didn’t have surveillance cameras near doors or posted in parking lots.
“We obviously don’t have anything on video to help us. All we can depend on is what employees are telling us happened that night,” DeLeon said.
A trip back to the scene is another challenge. The Walmart has been replaced by several other businesses.
“The building is still there. It’s not a Walmart, but the layout is still the same,” DeLeon said.
Of the many things that homicide detectives learn on the job, DeLeon said one thing is not to believe in coincidence.
“We don’t think the alarm going off and Mr. Fogle getting shot at the same time was a coincidence,” DeLeon said.
He believes there was plenty of planning behind the break-in.
“We think there may have been other people involved that were on the inside that may have assisted the people on the outside,” DeLeon said.
That includes the possibility that more than just the one or two people who shot Fogle were involved with the crime — a secret that they’ve kept for more than two decades.
“If there’s multiple people involved, a lot of times they’re very tight-lipped and they won’t share it with anyone,” DeLeon said.
Aside from the security guard who called for help, police spoke to store employees in 1994. Some of them were in a break room inside the Walmart when Fogle was murdered.
“There are other people who were working that night who were not interviewed, so we are the point now where we can go back and look at the employees, look at the timesheets that we have and bring in some of those employees that were there that night that were not interviewed and see if they can shed some new light on this,’ DeLeon said.
Police received tips right after the crime, but none have led to any arrests.
Fogle was single, but DeLeon said he came from a loving family who cared about him.
“His mom was very, very interested in the case,” DeLeon said. “Detective Evans — who was the original handling detective — came close to the Fogle family and kept them up to date as the case progressed.”
But as each anniversary of the crime is marked without an arrest, DeLeon said he hopes to give the family a little bit of peace.
“I think after 22 years, somebody’s conscience may be weighing heavy on them where they may feel that they can call in and not necessarily leave a name, but give us some new information on the case,” DeLeon said.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 210-224-STOP.
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