85ºF

Cocoa police release new video in man's unsolved homicide

Walter Thomas shot, killed after dropping son off at bus stop

COCOA, Fla. – Authorities released video evidence Monday in an unsolved Cocoa man’s murder, who was shot moments after dropping off his young son at the bus stop, hoping it will lead to making an arrest.

Walter Thomas, 31, was shot the morning of Oct. 26 one block away from his 4-year-old son’s bus stop on Grove Avenue, police said.

Cocoa police released video surveillance captured by a nearby business showing the fatal encounter between Thomas and his shooter.

About 40 seconds into the video Thomas comes walking into the frame. Another man on a bicycle rides directly by Thomas. Thomas then turns around and says something to the cyclist. The cyclist stops and Thomas takes hold of the bike and starts walking away. When Thomas turns to walk away the man pulls out a weapon and shoots Thomas. Neighbors described hearing five gunshots.

Investigators said they think Thomas might have been confronting the man for stealing his bike.

The Cocoa Police Department edited the video when the man shoots Thomas, the video skips to Thomas on his stomach on the ground. The other man grabs the bike, hops on and rides away. Thomas gets up and runs in the opposite direction.

Thomas made it back to his home before he died but was unable to provide any information about his killer, police said.

Authorities have been investigating Thomas’ death now for nine months and said they need new information to make an arrest, which is why they are releasing part of the surveillance video now.

“We have reviewed all the evidence, even interviewed a potential suspect,” Detective Debra Titkanich said.  “At this point we need witnesses to come forward with new information that will help bring justice in this case.”

Thomas' fiancée told News 6 on Monday that she hopes the video helps provide new tips in his murder.

"It's very devastating," she said. "Just come forward. We need justice. We need answers who killed him. It hurts everyone to know he had to lose his life over a bicycle."

The family also said they'd like to raise money for a billboard to bring awareness to the case. Click here if you'd like to donate.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477), there is a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest. The Crimeline is an anonymous tip line.


About the Authors: