American Legion murder witness: "I was praying to God to get out - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

American Legion murder witness: "I was praying to God to get out"

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Suspect Joe Travis Watley. (Source: Henderson Police) Suspect Joe Travis Watley. (Source: Henderson Police)
HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) -

Joe Travis Watley has been charged with murder, and is being held without bond, stemming from an early morning shooting in Henderson on Sunday.

It happened at 601 Sand Avenue at the American Legion building.

We spoke with a woman who was there when the shooting took place.

Dorothy Pellum was attending "Blues Night" at the American Legion in Henderson. When she heard gunshots only one thing was on her mind.

"Trying to get out. Praying to God to get out, and I won't be back," Dorothy stated.

She said she thought it would be fun to get out and listen to some music, but the fun part ended shortly after midnight. When she heard the first shot, she thought it was something else.

"Actually the first pop, I thought it was a balloon because they had balloons in there and someone had popped one earlier. But it kept going, so we knew it wasn't balloons then, "Dorothy recalled.

She said she knew the victim, Roy Lee Moore.

Henderson Police are still trying to put it all together, but had enough to arrest Joe Travis Watley at his residence on Sunday. Police say Moore was shot in the back.

Dorothy said she heard years earlier the victim had shot the suspect.

"It is my understanding this is a possibility. Most likely that is going to be correct," said Lieutenant Craig Sweeny of the Henderson Police Department.

Evidence was collected at the scene, and police have what they suspect is the murder weapon.

As for Dorothy, she just felt lucky she was close to an exit and was one of the first out the door.

"I was more afraid somebody was going to get hurt trying to get out," Dorothy said.

An autopsy has been conducted, but a report has not yet been filed. Police have interviewed several people who were at the American Legion Saturday night, and will be talking to more witnesses.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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