TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Polk County man was accused of shooting and killing another man during his own birthday celebration over the weekend, authorities said.
Thomas Jackson, 35, of Loughman, was arrested after the shooting, which occurred in the early hours of Aug. 27.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies responded to a shooting Meadow Green Drive in unincorporated Davenport at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Deputies said they learned Jackson was drinking while celebrating his birthday with his girlfriend and another couple. When he and his girlfriend started arguing, the man took him outside to calm him down.
Moments later, the two women heard gunshots, then saw Jackson standing over the victim’s body, and a handgun on the ground. One rushed to help the victim while the other confronted Jackson.
Detectives said Jackson told them the victim “came at him,” but they did not see any injuries on either Jackson or the victim that would suggest a struggle took place.
“Jackson had a post incident wallet card which instructed him what to tell law enforcement. If he thought he could murder someone and use this as get out of jail free card, he was sadly mistaken,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
According to the sheriff’s office, Jackson allegedly had a history of brandishing weapons during conflicts, and had been in a fight with another person the day before. His rap sheet includes charges of fighting and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, endangering a child by DUI, intentional damage of a monument, and violation of probation.
Following the latest incident, he was arrested and charged with second-degree murder with a weapon.