Man Killed by His Own Stepson - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/04/06 - Zavalla

Man Killed by His Own Stepson

by Ramonica R. Jones

Neighbors on Carpenter Street heard arguing Sunday night, but didn't hear the gunshot that left 30-year-old Robert Thompson dead. Thompson and his wife separated almost a year ago, but he came to her home Sunday upset she'd given away his car parts to another man.

Thompson left, but came back to the house Sunday night and attacked his wife. That's when Thompson's stepson pulled out a shotgun and killed him.

Zavalla Police Chief Bobby Epperly, Jr. said, "The victim pulled in front of the house, got out, walked immediately up on the porch, unannounced, began to kick the front door in. After the first kick, a 15-year-old juvenile in the residence went and got the weapon. By the time he got back to the living room, the victim had made his way into the residence and was physically assaulting his wife."

Thompson died at the scene after being shot in the chest. The shooter used a 410 shotgun, the same type of gun a lot of kids use for squirrel and rabbit hunting.

Until now, folks on Carpenter Street always knew the family as quiet and private. Police called the 15-year-old shooter a good kid who stayed out of trouble.

Calvin Murphy said, "They're nice, quiet people. They usually stay to their self; they're real nice people. They said that someone had been shot and so we went and called the law and that's when we found out what had happened."

Neighbors told us the couple was having marital problems, but the woman recently had a baby son with Thompson.

"It's a really, really quiet neighborhood," Murphy said. "You usually don't see too much of anything. If you hear someone, you usually always know who it is going down the road, so it's just a big shock to us for something like this to happen."

The 34-year-old woman was treated for minor injuries. The boy is now with his biological father.

Sunday's shooting is still under investigation. No arrests have been made. No charges have been filed. It was the first shooting in Zavalla since 2001.

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