The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that two arrests have been made in the murder of Philant Johnson, a childhood friend and assistant of rapper T.I.
Brothers Hosea Thomas, 34, of North College HIll, and Padron Thomas, 40, of East Price Hill, were charged with murder and felonious assault for the death of Johnson, 26, and injuring three others. Reports surfaced last March that arrests had been made in the case, but
were quickly refuted by the Cincinnati Police department [click to
Johnson was murdered on May 3, 2006 in a shooting just hours after a performance by T.I. and Yung Joc at Bogart’s nightclub. After the show, T.I. and his entourage headed to the Ritz nightclub for an after party, where an altercation with the alleged shooters forced the rapper and his crew to leave.
Witnesses said four men followed T.I.’s two vans, then pulled up next to the vehicles and fired, killing Johnson and injuring three others.
“T.I. and his group were in the VIP area,” said Detective Tim Gormly said. “The suspects
wanted to get in the VIP area and weren’t allowed to.” Gromly also explained that at one point, one of the brothers was struck in the head with a bottle.
Reports also say that the alleged shooters were angry when the rapper’s entourage threw money from the stage. “It was just a total accumulation of everything that happened that night,” said Gromly, who feels that event may have helped fuel the fire.
Hosea Thomas has a criminal history including drug possession and trafficking convictions. Padron Thomas is a listed sex offender and has been convicted of robbery and rape. He is currently being held in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for an unrelated drug case.
Each brother was charged with murder and seven counts of felonious assault. Hosea Thomas was also charged with having weapons with a previous conviction, while Padron Thomas was also charged with tampering with evidence.
“We had trouble identifying the suspects due to (the shooting)
happening in a moving car and there weren’t a whole lot of witnesses
that saw the actual shooting.” said Gromly of the case. Eventually, there was suffiecient evidence to charge the Thomas brothers.
Gromly said that Johnson’s family called frequently in search of answers; until this past Wednesday (June 18), he had been unable to give them closure.
“A family that keeps in touch over two years – you know they really
care for Philant,” said Gormly. “So yeah, it feels good to give them