A week has passed, and Beeville area residents remain stunned by the brazen pre-dawn murder of a well-known rancher and businessman.
Brien Hickman, 54, was a hometown boy. He was always friendly and polite.
Judging from the comments by those who knew him best, they are heartbroken to hear of his death and feel horrible for his family. Also, no one can understand why this could happen to one of the community’s nicest guys.
His friends can’t imagine him having enemies, especially one who would want to do him harm. They also want the officers to catch the criminal responsible for his death.
Hickman was gunned down on Sept. 26 as he stepped out of his vehicle, apparently to clear something out of his driveway, at the entrance to his ranch on Wofford Lane, just east of the Highway 181 Bypass in Beeville.
According to authorities who were at the crime scene that morning, the victim was shot once in the left side of the head with a shotgun.
Although officers are continuing their investigation and have received several leads, some concerned citizens and organizations are providing an added incentive to catch the killer.
Coastal Bend Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward and another anonymous donor has written a check for another $5,000.
Perhaps these generous rewards will encourage someone to come forward with the information necessary to put away this dangerous individual.
Deputies believe that Hickman was either ambushed by the gunman or he knew the assailant.
It’s tragic enough that someone without a conscience would commit such a heinous crime in our rural area, where, thankfully, it occurs so rarely. In a strange coincidence, the last murder here happened almost a year ago to the day.
However, it’s scary to think that this malevolent person may still be walking around free in this community.
Investigators and citizens alike hope this crime will be solved soon.
– Chip Latcham