In the early morning hours of Aug. 28, a Lufkin police dispatcher received a chilling 911 call from the driver of a vehicle headed to St. Luke’s Health-Memorial. His passenger had been shot in the head.
The caller was Jacob Robinson, 25, and his passenger was his friend Kaylor Campbell, 24. A little more than four hours later, Kaylor — a young man also known as “Blanco” who liked to cook, dance and make people laugh — was pronounced dead at a Houston hospital.
More than a month later, his family is still seeking answers as to why.
“No mother should have to go through this,” said his mom, Guillermina Escobedo (Campbell), fighting back tears during an interview last week. Accompanied by more than a dozen relatives, most clad in tribute T-shirts featuring photos of Kaylor, Guillermina and her family pled for help in getting the story of his tragic death out to the public in hopes that someone would know something and share that information with authorities.
“We’re desperately seeking answers in regard to his murder,” Guillermina said. “Things aren’t adding up.”
The family is hurting, their emotions are raw and none of the details of Kaylor’s death make sense to them.
“We just want some answers,” the family repeatedly said.
Shortly after 3:30 a.m. Aug. 28, a Diboll police officer was told by a dispatcher that the Lufkin Police Department needed him at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial, where a gunshot victim was transported by personal vehicle after being shot in Diboll, according to the DPD incident report.
Robinson told the 911 dispatcher that he had been “blocked in” by a gray or black Acura with chrome trim at a stop sign and that “they started shooting.” Robinson said he noticed his friend had been shot in the head so he started driving to the hospital.
Two officers headed to the hospital to speak with Robinson — and Kaylor, if possible — while other officers began investigating in Diboll, the report states.
A drive-by shooting
Upon arriving at the emergency room entrance, an officer saw the front passenger door of Robinson’s gold Lexus sedan open with what the officer believed to be blood on the door panel. He then began to take photos of the car while Robinson was talking to Lufkin police, according to the report.
While photographing the car, the officer saw what he believed to be blood in the front passenger seat and on the center console. Further observation revealed one bullet hole to the driver’s door, one to the back driver’s side door, one to the back driver’s side window and one just above the back driver’s side door on the door frame, the report states.
The officer then spoke with Robinson, who said he and Kaylor were at his family member’s house on Box Factory Road and drove to Robert Williams Street to visit another family member. Robinson said that while he was driving on Neil Pickett Street, the two saw a car driving on Ash Street heading toward Neil Pickett.
Robinson said the car followed them through a number of turns on a number of streets all the way to Robert Williams Street, according to the report. At the intersection of Robert Williams and South First streets, the assailants’ vehicle pulled up next to Robinson’s car, he said. Robinson said he did not know who was driving but described the vehicle as a very clean, maybe newer model, dark blue or black car, possibly an Acura.
Robinson said he turned left at the stop sign and the car continued to follow them. As Robinson approached the intersection of South First and Martin Luther King Jr. streets, the occupants of the other car began to shoot at him and Kaylor, he said.
Robinson turned right onto Thompson Street toward U.S. Highway 59 and said he “could see Campbell’s head bobbing from side to side and Campbell would not respond to him,” the report states.
A frantic drive to the hospital
While at the intersection of Thompson and U.S. Highway 59, the light was taking too long to change to green, so Robinson said he took a left turn and drove down Village Drive before crossing over Highway 59 and beginning to drive to the hospital in Lufkin, according to the report.
He said he tried to call 911, but his phone died while he was speaking with dispatchers. He said he had to plug his phone up to the charger and wait for enough battery to call 911 again, the report states.
The officer who later photographed Robinson’s car at the hospital was parked in the Dairy Queen parking lot and saw a vehicle driving northbound on Village but said the vehicle did not appear to be driven recklessly, according to the report. Robinson said that was his car and told the officer he thought he was driving “fast and crazy.”
The officer told Robinson that the situation he had just witnessed “was possibly affecting his perception of time and could have possibly caused him to think he was moving in slow motion or faster than normal.”
Robinson could not describe the occupants of the assailants’ car but said there were approximately three shooters — one shooting from the front passenger’s window, one from the back passenger’s side and one possibly shooting from the sunroof of the car. He also said they were all wearing masks, according to the report.
Medical staff, police continue to work
Medical staff told the officer that Kaylor was possibly going to be transported to an out-of-town hospital.
More photos were taken, evidence and clothing were collected and secured, a gunshot residue sample was taken from Robinson and the car was towed with a hold placed on it for investigative purposes, the report states.
Robinson was taken to the Diboll Police Department for further questioning.
Contact was later made with Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston, which confirmed Kaylor had died at approximately 7:43 a.m.
The crime scene investigation
Other officers had responded to the crime scene itself just after the 911 call but only knew it initially as an unknown intersection in Diboll, the report states.
One officer searching the city for the crime scene saw brass colored shell casings on the pavement at the intersection of MLK and South First streets. He then notified dispatch of his location and began securing the scene with his patrol car and crime scene tape. Another officer joined him at the scene, where approximately 10 spent shell casings and one unspent/unfired round were found, according to the report.
“The spent casings were clearly larger than the unfired round which led me to believe there were multiple pistols and multiple shooters involved,” the officer stated in the report.
A witness walked up to the scene and told the officer he saw a dark blue or black four-door car on Avalon Street that either dropped someone off or picked someone up. He also said he heard several gunshots from Avalon but could not remember if the shots were fired right before or after he saw the car, according to the report.
The officer at the hospital called the one on scene and updated him on Robinson’s account of events, adding that Robinson had also noted what he believed to be black bandanas wrapped around the pistols or the wrists and hands of the shooters and that they were all wearing black clothing.
The crime scene did not appear to have any glass shards, tire marks or other forms of evidence other than the shell casings, the officer noted in the report. The scene was approximately 100 yards from the Georgia-Pacific plant on MLK and about 75 yards from the nearest residence across the railroad tracks. However, despite the close proximity to a 24/7 guard shack and multiple residences, no calls were reported to Diboll police regarding shots fired, the report states.
After returning to the police department, the officer drove to the hospital to get gunshot residue samples from Kaylor’s hands. As he was preparing to leave, life-flight staff were getting Kaylor prepped for the flight.
“Attending ER staff confirmed the victim had a pulse prior to my exit and prior to him being loaded onto the life-flight helicopter.”
After returning to Diboll, the officer went to the Georgia-Pacific guard shack in hopes of retrieving video surveillance.
When he returned for his shift later that night, he learned Kaylor had died.
Robinson provides more details
Robinson agreed to further questioning at the station, where he provided another officer with more details of the night.
He said he picked Kaylor up at his house around 1 a.m. before they went to visit a friend near Taco Bell in Lufkin. They left there before heading to the family member’s home on Box Factory, Robinson said.
When asked about a description of the assailants’ car, he stated that in addition to it possibly being an Acura, it might also have been a Chevrolet Malibu.
He also said when he looked out the side mirror, he saw a male standing outside the sunroof with a gun, the report states.
He said he never heard Kaylor say anything after the shots were fired but that he was gasping for air. He also said he saw a police officer at Goodwill so he continued driving recklessly in hopes that the officer would stop him. When the officer did not, he continued on to the hospital, according to the report.
Day care in line of fire
On Aug. 29, an officer was sent to Treehouse Academy at 100 North Hines Street to take photos of the inside of the building as it had been shot in several places around the south end, the report states.
Two bullets hit a window in one room, while in another room, a bullet came through a window, hit the left side of the wall, went through another wall and a door from a closet room, and struck a door panel, according to the report.
Video and witnesses
On Sept. 1, two officers went to Georgia-Pacific to attempt to review surveillance video off its screen as what was copied for the department was not clear enough to make out a vehicle, according to the report.
While viewing the video, the officers were told some employees had been in the parking lot when the shooting occurred and were asked if they would like to speak to them.
Both witnesses said they heard eight to 10 shots and saw a dark-colored four-door car, the report states. One said the car was black or dark blue with shiny wheels, looked like a newer model Chevrolet Impala, possibly with a small fin on the trunk, and was traveling at a high rate of speed after the shots were fired.
How readers can help
The Diboll Police Department is asking for help identifying the individuals responsible for Kaylor’s death.