A U.S. Army captain from Fort Bliss was identified as the driver killed in a fiery wreck after he allegedly was intentionally rammed by another driver, authorities said.
Capt. Malcolm Xavier Perry, 27, was killed when the car he was driving crashed Sunday morning on John Hayes Street and Zaragoza Road in far East El Paso, Fort Bliss officials said in a statement.
Richard Mustapha Sennessie, 23, was arrested on a murder charge Tuesday by El Paso police with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force.
About 5:50 a.m. Sunday, Sennessie was driving a Jeep Wrangler when he “intentionally rammed” an Audi being driven by Perry, police said in a statement. Perry died at the scene. Sennessie is accused of fleeing.
A possible motive has not been disclosed in what homicide detectives determined was an aggravated assault that turned deadly.
The case was not a road rage incident, said El Paso police spokesman Sgt. Enrique Carrillo, adding he couldn’t disclose details because the investigation continues.
Young Army leader
Military officials said Perry joined the Army five years ago in Virginia. He had been stationed at Fort Bliss since March.
Perry was assigned to the 123rd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
“Capt. Perry recently took command of Bravo Company and was selected to be a company commander for his passion for leadership and expertise,” Lt. Col. Gilberto Escobedo, commander of the 123rd Brigade Support Battalion, said in a statement.
“He embodied what we ask of young leaders in today’s Army, and it was my pleasure to serve with him and to experience his devotion to service to his fellow man and his attitude of present leadership. His service to this division, the Army and our nation will not be forgotten.”
Suspect was wanted in DWI case
When Sennessie was arrested on the murder charge, he also was booked on a probation violation warrant on a driving while intoxicated case. He also had a traffic warrant for speeding from 2017.
Last year, Sennessie pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DWI charge, according to El Paso County court records.
At 2:17 a.m. Sept. 22, 2018, a Texas state trooper pulled over Sennessie for going 74 mph in a 45 mph zone on FM 659 (Zaragoza Road), documents state.
Sennessie smelled of alcohol, admitted drinking two shots, had an open bottle and a can of rum and failed a field-sobriety test, according to a criminal complaint filed by a trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Sennessie blew 0.174 and 0.178 on a pair of breath-alcohol tests, more than double the legal limit of 0.08, the complaint states.
In August 2019, Sennessie pleaded guilty to DWI. He was given a suspended sentence of one year in jail plus 15 months’ probation, which included a 9 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew and using an interlock device to measure his breath-alcohol level.
On July 17, prosecutors filed a motion to revoke his probation because Sennessie allegedly failed to maintain an interlock device, didn’t do his community service and didn’t complete a victim impact panel and a DWI education course. A warrant was issued for his arrest.
Sennessie resides in the 1400 block of Camino Alto Drive near Tom Lea Park, according to court documents.
He is being held at the Downtown jail under a $1 million bond on the murder charge and no bond on the probation violation. He has no lawyer listed.
El Paso County Jail records show he has no other previous arrests besides the DWI and traffic warrants.
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