Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
  • News Releases are to be used for informational purposes only.
    Information provided should not be relied upon for any type of legal action.

    Release Number: 11-399 (11-397)

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • November 30, 2011
    • Contact Person:
    • Debbie Carter : dcarter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8059

    Homicide Suspect Arrested

    Hernando County Sheriff's Office deputies arrest Joshua Thomas.
    • Wednesday
    • November 23, 2011
    • Time: 4:49 AM
    • 5490 Friarsway Drive
    • Tampa, FL

    **Update**

    November 30, 2011- Suspect Joshua Charles Thomas was taken into custody on November 29, 2011 at approximately 8:44 p.m. at a residence in Hernando County. Hernando County authorities received information via an anonymous tip leading to the location of Thomas. He was taken into custody without incident and was booked into the Hernando County Jail.

    Suspect:


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

    Charges:

    • Murder 2nd Degree with a Firearm

    Victim:

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

    Details (Previous News Release 11-397): 

    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 am, 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.

  • Sheriff David Gee
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