Boy's accidental shooting leads to arrest in Texas killing

This undated photo provided by the Houston Police Department shows Nicholas Thomas. Thomas has been charged with capital murder in the April 4, 2021, shooting of Miguel Vasquez as Vasquez and his daughter were walking to their car after leaving a Dave & Buster's restaurant. Police say they arrested Thomas after they were able to match a 9mm cartridge casing found at Vasquez's shooting to a gun used by Thomas' 3-year-old son when the boy accidentally shot himself four days later on April 8. (Houston Police Department via AP)
·2 min read

HOUSTON (AP) — While a fatal robbery and the case of a 3-year-old boy who accidentally shot himself wouldn’t appear to be connected, authorities said Thursday the same gun was used in both, leading police to arrest the boy’s father for the robbery.

Nicholas Thomas has been charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Miguel Vasquez, who was killed in front of his daughter as the two walked out of a Dave & Buster’s restaurant on Easter Sunday, four days before Thomas' son shot himself. The boy survived.

Thomas’ attorney, Walter Miller IV, declined to comment on the case.

Vasquez and his 10-year-old daughter were walking to their vehicle on April 4 when police allege Thomas put Vasquez in a chokehold and demanded his jewelry before shooting him, according to court documents. Vasquez and his daughter managed to flee and find an off-duty officer who was working security. Vasquez was taken to a hospital, where he died. His daughter was not injured. Thomas did not take any of Vasquez’s jewelry during the robbery, police said.

During their investigation, police found a 9 mm cartridge casing near Vasquez’s vehicle.

Investigators were able to match the bullet casing to the gun used by Thomas' 3-year-old son on April 8, according to court documents.

Thomas, 23, had left the gun on a bathroom sink after coming home from work early in the morning and was changing his clothes in another room when his son found the weapon.

Thomas was charged with endangering a child and had been free on a $1,000 bond when he was arrested on Wednesday in the fatal robbery. He made his initial court appearance Thursday morning.

Thomas remained jailed on a $150,000 bond on the capital murder charge.

Police said investigators also connected Thomas to a vehicle that was seen on surveillance footage fleeing Vasquez's shooting. Thomas matched a description given by Vasquez’s daughter and records placed his cellphone near the shooting.

___

Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting