It's been just over a year to the day that 20-year-old Cedric Thomas died. He was shot a few weeks prior, but survived just long enough that his family thought, maybe, just maybe, there was a chance he could pull through. In this week's Crime Stoppers, a look at a young man whose life took him down a risky path, a path that lead to murder.
Just a little less than 13 months ago, police responded to a shots fired call near the intersection of Osage and Canonicus, just off of Plank road near Interstate-110. It was early in the morning, may 18th, 2004, and 20-year-old Cedric Thomas had been shot. What you need to know is that Cedric was a transvestite, and was in the area dressed as a woman, as two men came up to him in a car.
The first time they approached him, they tried to rob him, but he was able to grab a two by four of sorts and fight them off. Unfortunately, that was just the first time they approached him. After fighting them off the first time, the suspects said they would be back, and a few minutes later, they were.
According to Detective Robert Gann, "Another argument ensued, the subject pulled out a revolver, Cedric Thomas tried to run, and he shot Cedric several times as he fled."
Cedric's mother remembers getting a knock on her door that morning. But something about it didn't seem right, so she didn't answer.
"About 20 minutes after that, the phone rang," recalls Barbara Thomas. "It was a doctor from Baton Rouge General. He asked me if I had a son named Cedric Thomas."
Cedric had actually survived the shooting, and he and his mother got a chance to talk on the phone, before she left for the hospital. "He told me he had been shot and was hurting, and that he loved me and was getting ready to go to surgery."
Imagine if you can that phone call. You're a mother, talking with your son who has just been shot, getting ready for surgery. A million things running through your mind and all you want to do is get to him. By the time she got there, he was unconscious. She would never talk to him again. He died a few weeks later on June 5th. As for those who did the shooting, Detective Gann says, "They're still out there, they pose a danger to the community and they need to be taken off the street."
With your help, maybe they will be. If you think you can help, call Crime Stoppers at 344-STOP. You can remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a reward of up to 1,000 dollars.