ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A man from Boynton Beach was arrested in connection to a fatal shooting in Royal Palm Beach and also faces charges of aggravated child abuse.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO) said 37-year-old Sammie Thomas was identified as the gunman involved in the fatal shooting of a man.
The sheriff's office said on June 3, at around 3:30 p.m. deputies were dispatched to a residence along Nottingham Road, between Okeechobee Blvd. and Southern Ave. When deputies arrived, a man was discovered suffering from multiple gunshot wounds inside the residence. He was lying unresponsive on the living room floor.
The 32-year-old victim was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center where he later died from his injuries, according to the arrest affidavit.
The witness told detectives, at the time of the shooting, the children were inside the bedroom. However, surveillance footage unequivocally establishes; at least one of the children witnessed the entire shooting.
The arrest report details what the ring camera showed. At approximately 03:27 p.m., a petrified child is seen running out of the front door of the home covering his ears after two gunshots are heard. Shortly after, a man's voice is heard saying, “Stop playing bro, this is what you wanted bro." Once the young child re-enters the residence, a woman's voice utters “Go in the room boy."
In addition, the arrest report states, the same male voice is heard asking, “Where are the keys," and “He's gone man.” Then Thomas took the keys belonging the witness and got into a Chevrolet Utility Vehicle and fled the scene.
When the vehicle was recovered and a search warrant was issued on June 4, investigators found a black semi-automatic handgun was recovered from underneath a black hoodie on the front passenger seat.
The forensic pathologist determined that three of the gunshot wounds were consistent with being shot while laying on the ground. The arrest report also noted that "the victim had a gunshot wound to the back of the head, indicative of his back being turned to the shooter."
On June 5, the sheriff's office said Thomas was interviewed. However, detectives said Thomas’ statement was not consistent with the physical evidence at the scene, the children’s statement, the ring camera audible capture, and the autopsy results.
The sheriff's office said along with a second-degree murder charge, Thomas was also charged with shooting inside an occupied dwelling in violation and aggravated child abuse.