BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A man being called a suspect in the fatal shooting of a police officer in St. Louis has a criminal history in Brevard County, including open charges in violent crimes police said he carried out last year, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.
Thomas Kinworthy, 43, is being held in the St. Louis jail on a warrant related to a sexual battery and kidnapping in Brevard County, after he missed a court date Aug.19. He has been named a suspect in the St. Louis shooting, but hasn’t been charged, according to police groups and various Missouri media outlets.
Kinworthy was identified by the Ethical Society of Police — an organization of Black St. Louis police officers — on social media as being the suspect in the weekend shooting and standoff.
Tamarris Bohannon was one of the first officers who responded to a scene in St. Louis Saturday evening. The 29-year-old and another officer were told by a man and woman at the scene that an armed suspect had forced them out of their home and was inside it.
While walking near the scene, Bohannon was shot and taken to the hospital in serious condition. He was pronounced dead as a result of his injuries Sunday.
Another officer who responded was shot in the leg and is reportedly in stable condition.
SWAT units and crisis negotiators responded as the suspect, identified as Kinworthy, barricaded himself inside the home and fired several shots over the course of several hours, according to police. SWAT crews eventually entered the home and arrested the 43-year-old without further incident.
Exactly a year before the St. Louis incident, Kinworthy was arrested and charged with attempted sexual battery and kidnapping in Brevard County.
Brevard County Sheriff’s Office investigators said Kinworthy tied a man’s hand behind his back, threatened to shoot him and sexually assaulted him at a home in Satellite Beach on Aug. 30 of last year.
While under investigation in that case, detectives conducted a search of Kinworthy’s vehicle after finding it with tags suspected of being stolen. They obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and inside found seven firearms, including handguns and assault rifles.
Detectives also found large amounts of ammunition, a tactical vest and various other gun accessories. Kinworthy, who had been convicted of a felony in the past, was not legally allowed to own the guns or equipment, according to police reports.
“Our agents felt like he was a dangerous person and a violent individual,” Tod Goodyear with the Brevard sheriff’s office said. “We can date back in our county to 1998 where he has had violent felony charges,” Goodyear continued.
Court records show Kinworthy has lived in Palm Bay, Indian Harbour Beach, Melbourne and other parts of Brevard County since at least 2007. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he has family ties in St. Louis.
No further details were available from police on why Kinworthy may have initially barricaded himself over the weekend. He has not been charged in the police officer’s shooting.
The St. Louis circuit attorney’s office said this week the case is still being investigated and that charges are imminent, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Kinworthy is considered a fugitive in Florida, the state attorney’s office in Brevard County has said.
In a statement released through the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Officer Bohannon’s family asked for support and prayers.
“It is with great sadness we share the loss of Officer Tamarris ’T' Bohannon, affectionately known as ‘Bo’ by his squad of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department,” the letter reads in handwritten cursive.
His family described him as “a three-year veteran who was raised and continued to live and raise his family in — the city in which he patrolled.”
“He is a hero to many, but most importantly, to his loving wife and three incredible children,” the letter said. “The loss of this great man is felt deeply within the St. Louis community and we ask for your prayers and support in the days ahead.”