Former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson has been arrested for the alleged murder of a Dallas jogger.
Wielding a machete, Johnson, 21, allegedly killed the jogger in a horrific random attack Monday morning at White Rock Creek Trail in northeast Dallas.
He is currently behind bars in the Dallas County jail with bail set at $500,000.
According to a Dallas police official about the 8 a.m. stabbing attack on the jogger, “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random. He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking,” the Dallas Morning News reported.
Johnson himself reportedly called 911 on another man’s cellphone a few blocks away from the crime and apparently admitted to cops responding to the scene that he “just committed capital murder.” When an officer asked him what he meant by that, he stated “It’s like when you don’t wake up.”
“Investigators said Johnson admitted to the crime and was apparently upset about being evicted from his home recently,” WFAA added.
A bicyclist who purported to be an eyewitness to the gruesome crime claimed that Johnson hacked the victim with a machete six or seven times on a popular running/hiking path, NBC DFW reported. “As I get closer and closer I could tell it was a machete and there are repeated blows that are occurring. As I get closer, I could see what’s being hit is a person, laying face down on the ground. It was apparent to me by the time I got close that there was nothing that could be done for the person.”
“The victim, who was not carrying identification, died at a nearby hospital. He remained unidentified early Tuesday. [The Dallas police official] said he is white and between 25 and 35. Police ask that anyone who might know the victim’s identity contact them,” the Morning News added.
In an update, the victim in the random attack has been identified as David Stevens, 53, according to CBS DFW.
A nationally recruited All-American high school player from Dallas, Johnson was on the Texas A&M football squad in 2012. He made headlines after disappearing from the campus for three days in November 2012, an incident that was never publicly explained. Police located him back home in Dallas, about 200 miles from College Station, Texas, where A&M is located. He dropped out of school shortly thereafter.
In 2012 NCAA football action, Johnson caught 30 passes for 339 yards, including three catches in the Johnny Manziel-led Aggies win over then-No. 1 Alabama. A&M plays Alabama this weekend, in what would have been Johnson’s senior year.
Thomas Johnson is on probation for a 2014 bust in the Dallas area for evading arrest, burglary, and auto theft. Prior to yesterday’s arrest, prosecutors supposedly sought to have his probation revoked for violating the terms of the agreement with the court.
In a statement, the Texas A&M Athletic Department has this to say about the Thomas Johnson arrest.
“We are not able to discuss this situation (with Thomas Johnson) due to legal proceedings, but this is an awful tragedy for all involved. Thomas Johnson played at Skyline High School and signed with Texas A&M as a true freshman in 2012. He played in 10 games and started two at wide receiver before leaving the team and the University in November 2012 and has not had any involvement with the football program over the past three years.”
An 18-year-old woman was found dead in a minivan in the same park on Monday morning, but cops say this homicide is unrelated to the Thomas Johnson machete murder case.
[feature photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images Sport]