Photo by Harvey E. Slade of a Florida Winn-Dixie similar to LH’s store.

Photo by Harvey E. Slade of a Florida Winn-Dixie similar to LH’s store.

This is the 7th in a series of articles in preparation for the Lake Highlands High School 50th Anniversary celebration. The event will be held March 23rd from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at LHHS.

Tammy Davis was a senior at Lake Highlands High School when she was gunned down during a robbery at the Abrams-Royal Winn-Dixie. She worked there after school, checking groceries and greeting customers. Folks remember her as friendly and helpful – too helpful, it turns out, for her own good.

This account of the crime came from an article in the Victoria Advocate:

“Harold Joe Lane said he was high on drugs and alcohol when he walked into a Winn-Dixie store in Dallas on Nov. 20, 1982 to rob the place. After pulling a gun on a woman in the store check-cashing booth and collecting $3,300, he tried to flee through the store entrance but the automatic door wouldn’t open. He started kicking it.

“Miss Davis, working nearby as a cashier and apparently unaware of the robbery, approached Lane to tell him he was trying to go out the ‘in’ door and pointed to him to push a button that would let him out. He raised the gun, a .357 caliber Magnum, and shot her in the head.”

Harold Joe Lane

Harold Joe Lane

Outside, Grady George Moffat was waiting in the getaway car. Lane exchanged gunfire with police while a car chase ran through the streets of Lake Highlands. The two were captured in the Kroger parking lot in Northlake Shopping Center.

Moffat received a 5-year sentence for aggravated robbery. Lane got the death penalty.

The case received national notoriety, sadly, not because of Tammy Davis’ sweet nature or because she was missed by her Wildcat classmates. Instead, Harold Joe Lane became the answer to a trivia question: Who was the 100th convicted killer to be executed since Texas resumed the death penalty?

“I remember being in the parking lot outside [Dallas Cowboy great] Jay Saldi’s family game room in the same shopping center when Tammy was shot,” wrote classmate Craig Richardson on the Class of 1983 Facebook page. (The Cowboys practice facility was located at Forest and Abrams back then, and many players lived in LH and sent their kids to LH schools.) “Horrible night. It didn’t seem real. We just didn’t think things like that happened around here.”

If you’d like to remember Tammy Davis, your own LHHS classmates or other Lake Highlands stories, you are invited to the LHHS 50th Anniversary celebration, to be held March 23rd from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the school. All festivities are free and open to the entire community.