Nicholas Thomas: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Nicholas Thomas was fatally shot by police in Smyrna, Georgia. (Twitter)

Nicholas Thomas was fatally shot by police in Smyrna, Georgia. (Twitter)

A 25-year-old black man was fatally shot by police in Smyrna, Georgia while officers were serving him with a warrant, according to WSB-TV Atlanta.

Edward Thomas was shot while driving in the parking lot of a shopping center on Cumberland Parkway, police said.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Thomas Was Driving a Maserati When He Was Shot

Officers from the Smyrna Police Department and Cobb County went to the Goodyear auto service store in the Smyrna shopping center at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to serve Thomas with a warrant. Thomas works at the store. According to police, Thomas saw the officers as they approached and he tried to flee, jumping into a white Maserati, owned by a customer.

Police told WSB-TV that Thomas drove at them and the officers feared for their lives.

“When you go to serve a suspect who knows that he is wanted he is unpredictable and we have to react based on his actions, that’s what we did today,” Smyrna police Sgt. Ed Cason told the news station.

Three officers from Smyrna and four from Cobb County were at the scene when the shooting happened. None of the officers were injured, but police told WSB-TV it has taken an “emotional toll” on them. The Cobb County officers didn’t fire their weapons, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Thomas died at the scene. Police would not say if they found a gun with Thomas, according to NBC 11 Alive News.

Smyrna police are investigating and it’s not clear if any outside agency has been brought in.

2. A Witness Said the Car Wasn’t Moving When Officers Fired at Thomas

A witness to the shooting, Brittany Eustache, who was a customer at the Goodyear where Thomas worked and saw the shooting from inside, said Thomas did not make any aggressive movement before the shooting:

They were standing behind the car, opening fire. He wasn’t driving towards them. The car was not moving when they begin to shoot at him. The car had been stopped he hit curb he could go any further … They immediately opened fire.

But another witness, Ryan Rose, told NBC 11 Alive News, “the cop yelled, and he said, get out the car, get out the car now, and (Thomas) just drove off. Then, he put it in reverse, there was nothing the cop could do from there. So, I guess he – the cop shot at the car.”

3. Police Have Not Said What the Warrant Was For

Nicholas Thomas (Family photo)

Nicholas Thomas (Family photo)

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, police did not release details of the felony warrant the officers were serving. Police also would not confirm the victim’s name, nor did they release any information about whether he has a criminal history.

NBC 11 Alive News reported Wednesday that court records show Thomas was convicted of aggravated assault on a peace officer in 2014. That conviction stemmed from a 2013 arrest after Thomas drove his car at a Kennesaw State University police officer who was trying to stop him for speeding, the news station reported.

WSB-TV reported the warrant was for a probation violation.

Thomas’ parents told WSB-TV that their son was working at the store to pay off fines associated with a traffic warrant.

4. His Family Says He Was a ‘Lovable Guy’ & Father

Nicholas Thomas (MySpace)

Nicholas Thomas (MySpace)

His mother, Felicia Thomas, told WSB-TV, “He was a lovable guy. He was just a lovable guy. He would do anything for everybody. He was just loved cars. He loved his family. He just had a baby. His baby is not even 5 months old.”

Huey Thomas, the victim’s father, told WSB:

I guess now, I just want to understand what happened, because I hear so often and here it is now. I’m a professional, my wife is a professional and we have a kid that’s dead.

His father asked why they couldn’t shoot out the tires or the radiator. “Where’s he gonna go,” Thomas asked, according to NBC 11 Alive News. “I mean, he’s gonna get out and run. I just think it was totally unnecessary.”

5. Police in Georgia Fatally Shot an Unarmed Man Earlier This Month

Anthony Hill, Anthony Hill Georgia, Anthony Hill shooting, Anthony Hill police

Anthony Hill (Facebook)

Anthony Hill, a 27-year-old veteran with a history of mental illness, was fatally shot March 10 by police in DeKalb County, Georgia while naked and unarmed.

The officer involved in the shooting, Robert Olsen, has been put on leave while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation examines the shooting.

Read more about that shooting at the link below:

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