Police in Houston, Texas, responded on June 27 to a report of a shooting at an apartment complex. A 7-year-old girl answered the door when officers knocked and said her mother was sleeping on a couch under a green blanket.
When officers uncovered the woman, they saw she was not asleep but had a bullet in her head and was dead. Two-and-a-half months later, a 16-page probable cause affidavit filed Tuesday details how Lakiri L. Tolliver allegedly killed 29-year-old Laurielle Faulk and allegedly returned to the crime scene to steal the victim’s belongings. Houston police announced the arrest on Wednesday.
The girl told police that her mother, Tolliver and a man were at the apartment when she went to sleep the night before. The girl was sleeping in her mom’s room when Tolliver woke her up in the morning and told her to go to her room to sleep. She said Tolliver told her her mother was sleeping and saw her put the blanket over her mother. Tolliver then left the girl alone with her mother’s body, according to the affidavit.
Tolliver, 25, took Faulk’s phone and pretended to be Faulk, the affidavit said. She also talked to Faulk’s family on Instagram and claimed a man was the killer. Tolliver claimed the man had a hit out on Faulk, the affidavit said.
The suspect gave several different versions of what happened in the apartment, which raised the suspicions of Faulk’s family members, the affidavit said.
Faulk’s apartment had cameras that did not capture the murder but showed events leading up to it. The camera shows Tolliver picking up Faulk’s cellphone while she is sleeping and scrolling through it around 10:30 a.m. Minutes later, a gunshot can be heard with the bullet casing hitting the floor, the affidavit said. Detectives believe Tolliver killed Faulk because she thought Faulk was flirting with her boyfriend. After seeing the messages on Faulk’s phone, Tolliver shot her to death, according to police.
After the shooting, Tolliver can be heard talking to the girl and waking the man in the apartment, who apparently slept through the ordeal. Cameras in the apartment complex show Tolliver and the man leaving the apartment carrying several bags. Video shows the pair leave and return to the apartment several times, each time leaving with different items, including Faulk’s Gucci and Louis Vuitton bags, the affidavit says.
Tolliver didn’t call 911 until shortly before 6 p.m. and hung up and shut off the phone so dispatchers couldn’t get ahold of her.
According to the affidavit, Tolliver returned to Faulk’s apartment on July 11, breaking a window and going inside. She allegedly “took so many items from the apartment, she was not strong enough to carry basket,” the affidavit said. “She had to drag it all the way to the parking lot.”
Detectives obtained a warrant for her arrest and took her into custody on July 14.
In an interview with detectives, she initially denied she was at the apartment the day of the murder but changed her story once confronted with the video evidence. She claimed it was the man she was with who killed Faulk, but the video from the apartment showed he was sleeping at the time of the shooting.
Tolliver is in jail without bond.
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