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Demarcus Moses: Hit with Murder Charge After Wild Stabbing of Shotgun-Toting Man

Demarcus Moses faces murder charges after his Spider-Man act.
Demarcus Moses faces murder charges after his Spider-Man act.
Photo by HPD

In the great game of life, when a showdown features a shotgun-toting man in an apartment versus a knife-wielding man trying to break into that apartment, the odds are usually with the gunman.

But that wasn't the case early Saturday morning on the southeast side, and Demarcus Jarrell Moses, 36, the man with the knife, now faces murder charges.

Houston police say Moses went to the apartment where Howard Rankins, 59, had been staying with an acquaintance, but he wasn't allowed in. (Possibly because it was 3:15 in the morning, an hour where little good comes out of someone banging on your apartment door.)

Rankins eventually answered the door, but he did it holding a shotgun. Moses then, according to HPD, went into his Spider-Man act:

"Moses saw the shotgun, then crawled onto an adjacent balcony from the front porch of the upstairs apartment," HPD says.

Rankins had a somewhat easier task of getting to the same window from inside the apartment, and did so. But things went very, very wrong for him:

Rankins went back inside the apartment and confronted Moses at a sliding glass door next to the balcony. Moses, using a knife, began to smash through the glass door. As Rankins tried to keep Moses from entering, he was stabbed several times and collapsed on the balcony. Moses then stabbed Rankins several more times until Rankins became unresponsive.

Either that shotgun wasn't loaded, or maybe Rankins just didn't feel right pulling the trigger.

When police came, they found Moses in the apartment, cleaning a wound he'd gotten from the glass door breaking. They also found Rankins's dead body on the balcony.

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Houston Police Department Headquarters

1200 Travis St.
Houston, TX 77002

713-308-1200


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