Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 11-397

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • November 28, 2011
    • Contact Person:
    • Larry McKinnon : lmckinno@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8094

    Detectives Searching For Homicide Suspect

    Victim died from gunshot wounds.
    • Wednesday
    • November 23, 2011
    • Time: 4:49 AM
    • 5490 Friarsway Drive
    • Tampa, FL


    Thomas, Joshua Charles
    DOB: 10/02/1988
    At Large


    • Murder 2nd Degree with a Firearm


    Perez, Rafael (Deceased)
    DOB: 11/15/1980
    5490 Friarsway Drive
    Tampa, Florida


    Homicide detectives have identified the suspect who is responsible for the murder of Rafael Perez, DOB 11-15-1980.

    On November 23, 2011, at 4:49 a.m., Rafael Perez's roommate arrived home and discovered Perez deceased inside their home located at 5490 Friarsway Drive, Tampa. Deputies arrived a few minutes later and found Perez already dead with multiple gunshot wounds.

    Homicide detectives were dispatched and through neighborhood interviews, determined that a 2000 black Chevrolet SUV Suburban was seen at the residence about 20 minuets prior to the roommate arriving home. They also determined the vehicle had been spotted at the residence several times during the last couple of days. One witness confirmed Perez and Thomas were seen inside the residence on November 22, 2011.

    Detectives quickly determined that Joshua Thomas was the driver of the SUV and he was labeled a person of interest. Detectives continued investigating and located other independent witness that provided statements indicating Thomas confessed to them he had shot and killed Perez. Detectives have not yet established a clear motive but believe drugs may have played a role.

    Joshua Charles Thomas may be driving the black 2000 Chevy Suburban with Florida tag AAS-P89. Thomas should be considered armed and dangerous.

    Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Joshua Thomas is asked to call 9-1-1 or the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 247-8200.
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