Police in Houston, Texas, have charged a 23-year-old Uber driver with murder in the death of the Rev. Ronald K. Mouton who was killed in a road rage shooting.
The Uber driver, identified as Deshawn Longmire, was charged with murder on Friday and is being held in Harris County Jail on a $500,000 bond, according to the Harris County District Clerk’s Office.
Mouton, who served as the pastor of East Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, was shot and killed on the Gulf Freeway at Gould Road on June 24.
Longmire, who was driving for Uber in his black Honda sedan, was seen by a witness at a stoplight on the Gulf Freeway arguing with the 58-year-old pastor who was in his white BMW. When both started moving, Longmire “stretched his arm out of the driver window with a pistol in his hand” and allegedly shot Mouton and took off, according to witness accounts, Click 2 Houston reported.
A surveillance video from Pusch and Nguyen Injury Lawyers showed Mouton’s vehicle crashing at a curb.
The pastor’s family released a statement after the suspect’s arrest.
“The horrific loss of our beloved, Rev. Dr. Ronald Mouton Sr., is painful beyond words,” the family said, according to Click 2 Houston.
“We are still grief-stricken over this senseless tragedy. We want the man who took his life to understand the seriousness of his crime. He took the life of a husband, a father. Our confidence and hope is in the proficient work the of police. We also hope the work of the entire criminal justice system is done thoroughly and that justice is duly served. We understand the public interest in this case, but we are not ready to speak publicly.”
On the Sunday after the incident, current and former members of the church set up a memorial at the site where the pastor died. He left behind his wife, four children and 10 grandchildren.
“He was such a wonderful man,” Sonja Gilmore-King told ABC 13 at the time. “He was a man of God. He loved family, his church, and this community. I had to come over to see, was it true? I couldn’t believe a man of God who loves so hard was taken away from us. We can’t believe it because this man would give you anything, the shirt off his back literally, and for this to happen to him, none of us could believe it.”
Wendell Hutchins II, the founding pastor of the Church of Champions in Houston, called Mouton “a brilliant man who demonstrated his love for his people on a daily basis.”
“I mourn the loss of a great man that was such a fixture of faithfulness in our Houston communities. Our prayers are lifting the Mouton family in their hour of grief,” he wrote on Facebook at the time. “We’re also praying for the entire East Bethel Missionary Baptist Church family as they mourn the sudden loss of their pastor.”
Bishop James Dixon, a close friend of Mouton’s, told ABC 13, “He was not just a great man inside the church, but outside the church walls. He was a family man, a loving husband, and father, and just a great human being, raised by a great father and mother.”