Fugitive Tuskegee Murder Suspect has Troubled Past

There are several new angles tonight to the tragic shooting death of an eight year old boy in Tuskegee.

Investigators have now spoken to the young victim's mother, while continuing the search for the teenager believed to be the shooter. It turns out the young suspect comes from a troubled background and so did the victim.

Two days have passed since Keith Thomas went on the run, suspected of shooting and killing eight year old Andre Johnson. The search is complicated because Thomas doesn't live a typical teenager's life.

Tuskegee Police Chief Lester Patrick is familiar with Thomas.

"He's not a normal 16 year old. He doesn't attend school. He's out constantly on the street and he has been in trouble, actually, he's currently under indictment for an assault charge," Patrick said.

That abnormal lifestyle may help the young man on the run. Chief Patrick says Thomas has associated with local drug dealers who might provide him with money, hideaways and transportation.

"We put out all points bulletins throughout the state," Patrick said.

It is the latest tragedy in Thomas' short life. Police say his mother is in prison already, and so is a brother, for firing a gun at two Macon County Sheriff's deputies just last year.  Ironically, his stepfather is a deputy himself. And there's a family connection between the suspect and the victim.

"They would socialize together, they had socialized together in the past," said Chief Patrick.

As for victim Andre Johnson, his family did not want to speak on camera, but investigators say he was an innocent victim who suffered from a mental impairment. They cannot imagine why Thomas might have shot him.

Chief Patrick and the Sheriff's Department will continue to probe around the Tuskegee and Macon County area for Keith Thomas. They say he probably has more money and help than most 16 year olds, but they don't think he's left the immediate area.

Investigators also say his law enforcement stepfather has promised to help find Thomas for both the boy's sake and the city's.

Tuskegee investigators are asking anyone with information on Thomas' whereabout to call them. Their number is 334-727-0200.