Police: Man shot toddler son before killing himself

Khiry Thomas's one-year-old son (Photo source: Family photo)
Khiry Thomas's one-year-old son (Photo source: Family photo)
Khiry Thomas
Khiry Thomas

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Waveland Police say a man who killed himself Monday night at a Waveland hotel fired two shots, one of which struck his one-year-old son. The toddler is expected to recover, and is being treated at a children's hospital in New Orleans.

Investigators originally questioned if the boy may have been injured unintentionally by a fragment from the self-inflicted gunshot. But they now say the evidence shows a complete bullet entered the child's head and lodged in his neck.

"We do believe that Mr. Thomas shot the baby, then shot himself," said Waveland Police Investigator David Allen.

During an autopsy, a second complete bullet was found in Khiry Thomas's head. Evidence, including gunshot residue on the victim's hand, led officials to rule the death a suicide. Coroner Jim Faulk told us preliminary toxicology results also showed Thomas had drugs in his system, but he won't know how much until the final report is complete.

Waveland investigators are working to create a timeline of events leading up to the shooting. They said Thomas attempted to legally purchase a weapon from a store in Gulfport a few days before the shooting, and again from another store in Waveland on the day of his death.

"He was stopped because of the mandatory background checks and the mandatory waiting periods. He did at that point obtain some bullets. The system worked as far as preventing him from legally getting a firearm."

Investigators believe the gun he used was purchased on the streets.

"That's a big part of our investigation, figuring out where it was obtained and how it was obtained."

Police say the 50 bullets Thomas bought provided key clues in their investigation.

"At the scene of this tragedy, the gun used had two rounds in it. Both rounds, of course, were spent. The other 48 rounds of the 50, which were purchased, were still found in the original container."

Exactly what led to the shootings remains a mystery.

"He didn't leave a note, he didn't leave an explanation. And at this point, talking to family members, talking to people who knew him, I think, is going to be the best way to determine his mental state to find out why a young man with a potentially promising future would feel that he needed to do something like this," explained Allen.

He said one thing that is clear: the baby has a strong will to survive.

"The long term injuries haven't been determined yet for the baby. He is defiantly expected to live. I saw him yesterday in the hospital and he's, in my opinion, a miracle."

If you have any information that could help investigators, contact Investigator David Allen with the Waveland Police Department at (228) 467-3669.

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