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News / Courts & Crime

Kelso community continues to honor Kayla Chapman as Holt’s Quik Chek reopens

By Courtney Talak, The Daily News
Published: January 25, 2019, 7:24am

LONGVIEW — Holt’s Quik Chek Market and Texaco gas station in Kelso reopened Thursday following the robbery and fatal shooting of 30-year-old employee Kayla Chapman early Tuesday morning.

Both the gas services and convenience store located on the corner of Cowlitz Way and Pacific Avenue were closed Tuesday and Wednesday while police investigated.

Well into Thursday evening, people were placing candles, flowers, and other expressions of sympathy items along the sidewalks in memory of Chapman.

“Clearly from the memorials she affected a lot of people,” Dustin Showalter, a friend of Chapman, said Thursday evening outside the store.

Showalter knew Chapman for two years as a regular customer first and even applied to work at Holt’s with Chapman’s help. Having visited for the first time Thursday since the shooting, he said the store isn’t the same without her.

“I walked in earlier today and it’s a different atmosphere without her there.”

Showalter said he saw several people crying while he was shopping inside and while lighting a candle in the parking lot.

Josh Mitchell, who said he was an old high school friend of Chapman’s, visited the market Thursday not knowing she was the employee killed in the shooting and was sad to see the memorial in her honor.

“She’s the most down-to-earth person I’ve ever met,” Mitchell said. “I don’t understand why they had to shoot her.”

Mitchell joined several others in paying his respects among hundreds of notes and candles.

Holt’s Quik Chek Market declined to comment at this time.

D’Anthony Leslie Williams, 19, has been arrested on suspicion of  suspicion of first-degree murder and other charges stemming from Chapman’s death.

Williams allegedly arrived in a white four-door sedan that had other occupants, police said, before robbing the store and shooting Chapman, according to Kelso police.

Chapman was the only person in the store at the time, police said.

Williams appeared Thursday morning in Cowlitz County Superior Court where Judge Stephen Warning found probable cause to hold him at the Cowlitz County Jail without bail until a bail hearing Jan. 31.

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