Damarlon Thomas was executed at a halfway house Monday night
A former college athlete who fell into gang life and drug dealing has lost his life to the streets. 31-year-old Damarlon C Thomas attended college on an athletic scholarship, however, a few years later, he was facing 19 years in a federal prison for selling fewer than 15 grams of crack cocaine.
The ex-Michigan gang member got a second crack at life when his 19 year prison sentence was commuted with less than 9 years served, by President Barack Obama on November 22. Sadly Thomas did not survive more than 2 months outside the prison walls. He was shot ‘execution-style’ at a federal halfway house in Michigan on Monday night, police said.
Thomas, a former Saginaw Sunny Side Gang member, was sought out by two gunmen wearing masks and brandishing assault rifles when they entered the halfway house at Bannum Place around 9:40 p.m., Monday.
Describing the scene, Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser said one of the gunmen shot Thomas multiple times, striking him in the head, while his partner held about two dozen people hostage at gunpoint:”One person watched over a group of them while another subject located the victim and executed him,” Kaiser told MLive.com.
“They were looking for this person.”
Thomas released from prison, barely eight weeks earlier, was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured and the suspects remain at large, police said.
It was not immediately clear if Thomas was living at the halfway house.
Thomas was serving a 19 year sentence beginning 2008 had been convicted on drug charges. He was arrested as part of the federal investigation “Operation Sunset,” which effectively dismantled the Sunny Side Gang’s activity in the city’s south side. He was one of
79 people, whose sentence was commuted by president Obama as he was leaving office on Nov. 22. His jail sentence was set to expire in March.
The former college football star was looking forward to restarting his life: “My long term goals are to get a job, start a family, and do for my family,” he wrote before learning how much prison time his dealing had gotten him. “Also, just to live my life to the realest I can when I get out.” Sadly, it was not to be.