Nacogdoches murder suspect found with weapons, affidavit says

Gerald Thomas mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.
Gerald Thomas mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Holley Nees - email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Hemphill man was found at the residence following a shooting with weapons, according to a probable cause affidavit.

"We received notification that there had been gunshots fired and upon their arrival they did take one person into custody in the yard that still had possession of the gun," said Nacogdoches Police Department Sgt. Greg Sowell.

Gerald Thomas, 49, is charged with murder in the shooting death of Tore Ratcliff, 28.

According to the affidavit, police contacted Thomas following the disturbance at Ratcliff's house, on the 800 block of Richmond Street. The affidavit states Thomas shot Ratcliff during an argument.

The affidavit does not state what the argument was about.

A justice of the peace set bond for Thomas at $1 million Monday afternoon.

"A lot of police and stuff so I'm like oh my God," said neighbor Jose Gomez, remembering the scene.  "It was unbelievable."

Police said Thomas and Ratcliff knew each other and that the incident was not a random act of violence.

"There was an ongoing argument, it appeared that there was some sort of physical fight, at this point we're still piecing all that together, but there was a disturbance," explained Sowell.  "We did receive a call from neighbors regarding the disturbance."

A neighbor said it is alarming, but they're not too concerned for their safety.

"A unique circumstance, something that's not likely to re-occur," said neighbor Clyde Howard.

They said the murder was in an otherwise quiet neighborhood.

"It bothers me or concerns me that kids can be exposed to that, but that can happen anywhere, any neighborhood," said Howard.

"It could happen anywhere and anytime," said neighbor Jose Gomez.  "You never know."

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