Arrest report: Hit-and-run suspect attacked homeless man with pipe before crashes
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Police say a man who ran down four homeless people with his truck Monday began his crime spree before the first crash.
Jeremy Thacker is in custody and police say he faces a slew of charges, including murder.
According to Thacker's booking report, Thacker assaulted a homeless person with a pipe around 5:25 a.m. Monday near QuikTrip at 14th and Denver. A man was sleeping on a bench when the suspect approached with a metal pipe-like object. The suspect hit the victim in the arm, causing a laceration. The victim fought the suspect off, yelling for police, and the suspect drove off in a white pickup truck.
Less than an hour later, police say the same suspect targeted three homeless people asleep under the bridge at I-244 between Cheyenne and Easton. Surveillance video shows the truck drive onto the sidewalk and intentionally run over the victims.
Shawn Birdo, 45, was killed. The other two victims were hurt but will recover.
Hours later, police were called back to QuikTrip near 14th and Denver where two homeless people were sitting on the curb when the same truck accelerated onto the sidewalk, hitting the victims.
According to Thacker's booking report, all three incidents were linked by surveillance video and all three incidents were intentional.
Around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Thacker's white pickup truck was spotted near 46th Street North and 129th East Avenue. State troopers found the vehicle and called police to the scene. Around the same time, police say a Crime Stoppers tip helped direct them the vehicle.
Police say Thacker appears to have hidden his truck near his residence but a neighbor identified it as his and remarked about the broken windshield.
Thacker was booked into the Tulsa County Jail on five counts of assault and battery and one count of first-degree murder.
While he may be off the streets, many homeless shelters are still on edge.
"Why he would be led to do this kind of this is beyond me," said Sandra Lewis, Executive Director of the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless.
Lewis made sure to tell the folks who come into her facility the news.
"I think there will be a lot of relief out there now," said Lewis. "We can relax for a bit."
Reverend Steve Whitaker with John 3:16 Mission says this rampage by Thacker is changing the way some people view the homeless.
"Please don't look at everybody that's homeless like you do some aggressive panhandler. That's just not true," said Whitaker. "There are some people who are just down on their luck and they've lost everything. We don't need to compound that by looking down our noses at them."