TULSA, Okla. - Police said a man they arrested in a 9-year-old murder has been a suspect in the case since a year after the shooting.
Police said they arrested Patrick Hamstard for killing Peggy Gaytan during a robbery at a convenience store in 2011.
Detectives said they interviewed several people over the years, who said Hamstard admitted to shooting Peggy Gaytan.
Court documents said several people told police Chauncey Thomas and Patrick Hamstard were the ones who robbed and murdered Peggy Gaytan, a lovable grandmother who worked at a Tulsa gas station.
Documents said Hamstard told people the shooting was an accident.
"To said we've been desperate to solve it would be an understatement,” said Lt. Brandon Watkins with Tulsa Police Homicide. “This is one that everybody wanted to solve. This is a completely innocent woman who was working just before Christmas and raising her grandchild and just basically a good person."
Documents said a woman told police Thomas admitted to her, he and Hamstard were the two people caught on surveillance video at the convenience store.
They said Thomas told her, "they will never catch us. We were masked up and gloved up."
In 2013, Detectives interviewed both Thomas and Hamstard but both denied being involved.
"It just took time,” said Watkins. “Time, patience and just the detectives who had it were just relentless."
Detectives said with the help of several friends, tipsters and recorded phone calls, they were able to make arrest, which they couldn't have done without the help of citizens.
"This is something that was traumatic for people. It's one that everyone on the department remembers,” said Watkins. “Because just how brutal it was. How quickly things happened. and how pointless."
Watkins said they take these cases personally and they want to solve them all.
"Nothing can bring her back. Nothing can make this right,” said Watkins. “Hopefully, we can give them some sense of feeling some justice will be served. Even when we've got enough to arrest someone, it's not enough to arrest. We want to make sure they get convicted."
The other suspect was shot and killed by a homeowner during a home invasion in Tulsa in May of last year.