Thursday, September 17, 2015

Homicide in Eureka UPDATED With Memorial Information

Posted By on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 11:27 AM

A memorial for Terry Lee Thomas will be held tonight at the Holiday Inn Express at 6 p.m. Thomas' sister, Phyllis Thomas, says in the announcement:

"We’ve heard that Terry was well liked by all who knew him despite his circumstances. We invite you to come join us to share the experiences and memories you have with us as we mourn his passing. We want to hear your stories as we share a slideshow of his life with you."


Eureka police are investigating the killing of a homeless man that occurred near the Courthouse Market on Fourth Street last night.

Police Chief Andy Mills confirmed that his department is in the midst of a homicide investigation, saying Terry Lee Thomas, a “well-known” local homeless man, was assaulted yesterday evening and died as a result of his injuries. Mills said detectives have identified people involved in the assault, but may not be able to officially determine a suspect until receiving an official cause of death from the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office.

Mills said a press release from the department will be sent out soon and will contain additional information.

Meanwhile, EPD continues to investigate the shooting death of Dax Brown, 18, of McKinleyville, who was found in Hammond Park bleeding from a gunshot wound on Saturday night. Tuesday night’s killing is the county’s 10th this year, adding to a grisly three-year span that has totaled 37 homicides since the beginning of 2013.

We’ll update this post with additional information as we receive it.

From the EPD:

On 09/08/2015, at about 8:08 PM, Eureka Police Department officers were dispatched to the parking lot of the Courthouse Market (905 Fourth Street) after a male caller reported he was just involved in a physical altercation with another male. The caller told dispatchers the victim, a 63-year-old Eureka resident, was lying on the ground unresponsive. A second caller also reported the victim had sustained a bleeding head wound.

Upon officers’ arrival, they found the victim lying on the ground, unconscious and bleeding from the head and face. The victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital in critical condition. Officers contacted the original caller at the scene along with a 16-year-old juvenile companion who may have also been involved in the incident. Additionally, an independent witness was located and interviewed.

The caller was subsequently arrested on an unrelated charge of public intoxication and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. The juvenile was interviewed and released to a parent.

At approximately 12:45 AM, hospital staff advised EPD that the victim had succumbed to his injuries and died.

This incident is under active investigation as a possible homicide pending an autopsy to determine the nature and cause of death. The victim’s name is not being release by EPD at this time to allow time for notification of his next of kin.

Anyone with information relating to this case is asked to contact the Eureka Police Department at 707-441-4060. Reference Case #3C15-6888.  

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Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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