Suspect Arrested In Hit-And-Run Death Of Tulsa Homeless Man
TULSA, Oklahoma - Police arrested a suspect they say used a truck to intentionally run over homeless people Monday.
One person was killed and three others were injured by a man driving a white pickup.
Police identified the suspect as Jeremy Thacker, 40. They said he has at least one prior auto theft conviction but no other significant criminal history.
Court records show he was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon.
Police said someone recognized the truck and called law enforcement. Police said the truck has body damage that matches the crimes.
Police say Shawn Birdo, 46, was asleep on a sidewalk under the I-244 bridge over North Cheyenne on the morning of Monday, September 4, 2017. They said the driver was seen circling the block before jumping the curb, driving on the sidewalk and crashing into a group of people.
Birdo was killed and two others were injured.
Later that day, police said a woman was hit near 15th and Denver. The driver ran over the woman’s legs.
Police mobilized extra help and searched all night.
“We were just doing a search for that vehicle, for him, either one of two things, to make him stop doing it or to actually find his vehicle,” Officer Jeanne MacKenzie said.
The extra attention didn't lead to the truck but there were no other incidents. Tuesday morning a tip led officers to a location the pickup and the suspect.
“There was some damage to the truck; the windshield was busted I believe. There was obvious body damage to it,” MacKenzie said.
Police said Thacker didn't explain what happened, so they're left to piece together the case with evidence from the scene and the truck.
They are not certain he was targeting the homeless but don't have any other explanation.
“We believe we have the right individual, so there shouldn't be any issues tonight,” MacKenzie said.