Continued investigations into the Aug. 17 murder of 19-year-old Huntsville resident William Bius have led authorities to believe that drugs played a critical role in the events before his shooting.

Bius, who was in the Houston area with two friends, received a gunshot wound to the head after he and his friends transported 21-year-old Calvin Moore from a Houston gas station to a nearby apartment complex.

Witness statements indicated that Moore, who had several additional charges pending against him at the time, shot Bius in the head at approximately 3:20 a.m. after being transported to the apartment complex.

Moore is currently facing murder charges in the 174th State District Court.

What first appeared to be an act of courtesy is now believed to have been initiated by Bius, who Sgt. John Shirley of the Houston Police Department said approached a group of men at the gas station with the intent of purchasing powder cocaine.

“According to witness statements, we know now that Bius was there to buy drugs,” Shirley said. “According to our suspect, he approached a group of males looking to buy powder cocaine.”

At the time Bius approached Moore, he was traveling in a vehicle with Kelsey Kirkendall and Patrick Oliphant, both 21-year-old Huntsville residents.

Shirley said their statements have indicated that it was Bius’ idea alone to approach the group of males at the gas station in order to purchase the drugs.

“Everything we have indicates that it was his idea alone to purchase the cocaine,” Shirley said. “The other two were put off by it, but obviously not so much that they stopped it. Money was given to Moore for the drugs, and he then rode with Bius and the two others to a Northline apartment complex.

“Once there, Moore got out of the car, presumably to retrieve the drugs, then came back and opened the passenger door. At that point, he shot Will in the head.”

Shirley said Bius did not die at the scene, but was transported to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and placed on life support until 18 hours later.

“With the wound he received, it was clear that he was not going to survive,” Shirley said. “It was just a matter of contacting his family and getting all of the necessary paperwork filled out before he could be taken off of life support.”

After eluding authorities for two days following the shooting, Moore was apprehended in a Houston apartment.

Since being apprehended, Moore has been held in custody at the Harris County Jail.

Looking back

According to Kirkendall, there doesn’t seem to be a solid reason why Moore shot Bius, or why he chose not to shoot Oliphant and Kirkendall, as well.

The only guess she has as to why her life was spared is that she and Oliphant were uninvolved in the drug deal.

“When we got to the gas station, I was pumping gas and Oliphant was in the bathroom — we just wanted to go home, and we definitely didn’t know Will had any ideas about getting cocaine,” she said. “We didn’t even know what he was talking to the group of guys for until he came back to the car and told us about Moore.’

Also, Kirkendall said neither she nor Oliphant contributed any money to the deal.

“We didn’t scrape any money together because that cocaine was not for us,” she said. “Will was the only one who would have given him money, but I don’t even know if that actually happened.

“In fact, I don’t even know how Will approached the guys. There’s no way to know if Will offended the group when he walked up to them or what.”

The only clue Kirkendall said she has is her memory of a comment made before Bius was shot.

“When Moore came back to the car, he said, ‘There’s a van parked behind you guys and there’s cops,’” she said. “Maybe he targeted Will because he was the only one who went up and gave them money. Maybe he thought he was a snitch, or maybe he was messed up himself.

“To this day, me and Oliphant have no idea and, of course, Will isn’t here to ask.”