Fort Worth

Man accused in Fort Worth slaying told witness it was an ‘accident’

Officers surround the Walnut Inn Tuesday where a murder suspected barricaded himself for almost three hours.
Officers surround the Walnut Inn Tuesday where a murder suspected barricaded himself for almost three hours. WFAA

A 28-year-old murder suspect arrested Tuesday night after an almost three-hour standoff with police in Dallas had claimed to a witness that the shooting of a Fort Worth man last month was accidental, according to court documents.

“I didn’t mean to do it. It was an accident,” Benjamin Thomas Strauch reportedly told a roommate of Kelly Duane Kvale shortly after allegedly shooting Kvale early on May 30.

Investigators allege after fatally wounding Kvale, Strauch fled the home in the 2200 block of Evans Avenue in a Grand Prix stolen from Kvale’s other roommate.

Kvale, 46, was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital where he was later pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Strauch was arrested Tuesday evening after a nearly three-hour standoff at a motel in the 2600 block of Walnut Hill Lane in northwest Dallas.

Officials have said Fort Worth police and members of the U.S. Marshal’s fugitive task force had located Strauch at the motel about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

As officers approached, Fort Worth homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman said, Strauch fled into a room.

“There was a female in his room with him and he shuffles her out the door, slams it shut, fires a round, and then fires another round through the door,” Loughman said.

Dallas police SWAT members were then called to the scene to assist.

After barricading himself inside a room, Strauch surrendered about 7 p.m. and was taken to a Dallas Hospital for tear gas exposure.

Loughman said Strauch remained hospitalized Wednesday morning and had not yet been interviewed by detectives.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit written by homicide Detective M.D. Green, Strauch had asked one of Kvale’s roommates for a ride and later came with that roommate to the home that she shared with Kvale and another man.

Loughman said investigators are unclear of Strauch’s relationship to Kvale but do not believe it was the men’s first time meeting.

Strauch reportedly showed a semi-automatic pistol he had in his possession to both the female roommate and another man who had been visiting the home, the affidavit states.

The witnesses told police they were later asleep when they heard a loud bang and walked to the living room to see Strauch leaving the home through the front door.

Loughman said Dallas police located the stolen car at game room near the motel where Strauch was arrested.

Deanna Boyd: 817-390-7655, @deannaboyd