NORTH FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The man charged with shooting and killing another man in a Washington County grocery store parking lot was found by police a few days earlier with a small arsenal of firearms.
North Franklin Township Police say they discovered 30-year-old Brandon Thomas passed out in his Hummer in the parking lot of a closed bar.
Sgt. Jerry Cavanaugh says Thomas was wearing a bulletproof vest and had two guns on his body. Police say he had several more firearms inside the vehicle.
Sgt. Cavanaugh says Thomas s reported he was fearful after some people at the Red Roof Inn told him they would steal his Hummer.
Police say Thomas had the guns legally but will be charged with DUI.
Four days later, he’s accused of fatally shooting a man in the Shop ‘n Save parking lot in Washington. Witnesses say the shooting victim, who was apparently upset over a minor collision, walked up to Thomas’ Hummer and punched him.
Police say Thomas is accused of shooting the man twice in the chest.
A preliminary hearing in the shooting is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Thomas’ attorney says it’s a case of self-defense and that the incident a few days earlier is irrelevant.
Thomas reportedly served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and received three Purple Hearts.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Thomas had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
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