UPDATE: Leon Terrell Flowers, 23 from Troy - charged in murder/robbery

Leon Terrell Flowers (Source: Pike Co. Sheriff's Office)
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BRUNDIDGE, Ala. (WTVY) -- A suspect has been arrested in the robbery and shooting death of 30-year-old store clerk Neil Kumar.

Leon Terrell Flowers, 23, of Troy, is charged with capital murder and robbery, according to Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas.

Kumar was shot and killed Wednesday morning at the Gulf Gas Station, known as the J&S Buy Rite convenience store. The Brundidge business had only been open for minutes when the suspect came in.

A part-time employee of the store, Kumar was also a graduate student at Troy University. Police indicated he did not put up a struggle and was shot to death at near point-blank range almost immediately after the robbery.

“Our phones were constantly ringing,” the sheriff said, while holding many details of the ongoing investigation close to the vest. The sheriff declined to provide a timeline, but said a suspect was developed “probably within hours” of the homicide.

Flowers, who is unemployed, was taken into custody Saturday morning by Troy police and placed in the Pike County Jail. Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas said the suspect was arrested without struggle.

Flowers is well known by area law enforcement and has an extensive rap sheet. In 2015, he was charged with felony murder in the shooting of 19-year-old Mantrell Jordan. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

According to Pike County District Attorney Thomas Anderson, he has four felony convictions. He was previously charged with felony murder, but pleaded down to manslaughter in that case. He was given credit for the time he served while awaiting trial and was released on probation on April 30. The district attorney said the victim’s father asked for leniency in that case.

Law enforcement released surveillance video Thursday showing the moments before, during and after the robbery and shooting. A description of the suspect in the video was limited to a male dressed in all black, with white gloves, and armed with a gun.

Multiple law enforcement agencies took part in the homicide investigation and broke the news of an arrest Monday morning at a news conference that was attended by members of the Kumar family.

Flowers is expected to be brought before a judge for a first interview Monday morning.

Ken Curtis was at the press conference and will have more details on WTVY and WRGX.



 
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