Well, this didn't take long. Authorities have charged the man accused of killing Ed Thomas earlier this morning, Mark D. Becker, with first-degree murder. Becker's only 24, but as first seen in the comments below, has a long rap sheet, which drugs and physical violence both popping up.
We'll try to confirm this later today, but for now:
6/20/09 Eluding Parkersburg Police Department
6/20/09 Reckless Driving
6/20/09 Failure to Stop at Yield Sign
6/20/09 Speeding 20+ Over
3/2/09 Speeding 6-10 Over
12/19/08 Criminal Mischief 4th Degree (86 days in jail)
11/18/08 Assault Causing Bodily Injury
1/26/07 Speeding 20+ Over
9/8/05 Safety Belt
1/10/05 OWI 1st Offense
9/24/04 Speeding 1-5 Over
8/4/03 Unsafe Approach to Stationary Vehicle
(EDIT: Some charges previously listed were dismissed, and so are no longer included)
Back to the shooting. First-degree murder means premeditation, and that seems sufficiently likely here. There's nothing to suggest this killing was an accident or a crime of passion; Becker (allegedly) went to Thomas' workplace and shot him multiple times, including at least once in the head. We don't know if Becker tried to flee or where he was apprehended, but that's barely relevant at this point.
There's no word yet on where the gun came from, if it's his, etc. Maybe the killing was preventable. Maybe it wasn't. That's a matter for the days and months yet to come. For now, we reel and mourn.
(Oh, and that's probably an old mugshot; considering his already prodigious crime streak, the Courier probably already had a mug of his on record. We hope it's old, anyway; otherwise that smirk would be truly haunting.)