Tulsa Man Accused Of Shooting Parents A 'Good' Neighbor

Friday, October 29th 2010, 6:36 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- An argument between two parents and their son ended in tragedy late Thursday. A 21-year-old man is now sitting in the Tulsa Jail, accused of shooting his father to death and critically injuring his mother.

Rico Thomas was arrested for first degree murder and shooting with intent to kill.

10/29/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Man Arrested After Father Killed, Mother Wounded 

Less than 24 hours after the shooting, neighbors of Richard Thomas are stunned. Wayne Luckhart says Thomas was a good neighbor. "I was in shock, naturally. He was kind of a friend," Luckhart said.

That shock comes from Thursday night -- when the 45-year-old Thomas died after being shot in his home. Thomas's wife Charlotte was also shot and managed to run next door for help.

Tulsa police say the shooter was the couple's son, Rico Thomas.

"I thought he was a pretty good kid. I gave him a present when he graduated from high school because I was proud of him," Luckhart said.

Rico Thomas left his parent's home before police arrived and came to his friend's house near East 78th and Pine. Thomas said he needed a place to stay for the night.

"I went to bed and the next thing I know, the police are surrounding my house, saying he was wanted for a murder," said Tulsa resident Giovanni Davis.

Police searched this home and according to jail records, they found a pair of Thomas' pants with blood stains on both legs. Thomas told detectives he didn't know anything about the shooting.

"He has to have mental problems. I can never even imagine doing anything like that to my mother and father," Davis said. "I really feel crazy about letting him in my house and he just did that. He could have killed me!"

Thomas only has two traffic violations on his record. Police believe an argument or fight with his parents earlier in the day led to the shooting.

Officers say they've been called to this home several times before on mental health issues and family violence concerns.

Thomas is being held without bond. His mother, Charlotte Thomas, is in critical condition with gunshot wounds to her chest and arm. She is expected to survive.