At 11:24 p.m., the SWAT team used an armored vehicle to open the door, hoping to use a robot to check on Thomas and in an attempt to deploy a chemical irritant. But Thomas closed the door.
“A second attempt was made to breach the door for the same purpose. At this time, Mr. Thomas appeared in the doorway with his pistol. He was immediately observed by SWAT members to be pointing his unholstered firearm at the SWAT members. The immediate lethal threat by Mr. Thomas was met with an immediate lethal response. Mr. Thomas was fatally shot by a SWAT member,” Gmoser said.
Thomas, 31, was shot four times. He died at the scene. An autopsy revealed the presence of methamphetamine at the time of his death.
Gmoser said during negotiations with Thomas, he was in communication with his mother. In one text message, Thomas said, “Na. tell em theres no negotiations. I guess there going to have to take me dead because I believe what I stand for and you may want to remind them who I truly am. If I die the world will end in case you do not recall. I love you.”
Phillips is an eight-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and has returned to duty, according to Butler County Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer.