The 43-year-old has been charged with murdering his former neighbor after allegedly terrorizing the father of four
A California man who was in prison for “terrorizing” his neighbor has been charged with murdering him just two months after his release.
Miles Armstead, 44, had been working outside his home on the 7500 block of Ney Avenue in Oakland when his former neighbor, Jamal Thomas, 43 reportedly shot him in the back of his mind.
“He pulled a gun, Miles saw the gun, he turned, was shot in the back of the head, hit the ground, shot him several times,” said a witness, who did not want to be identified, KTVU.
Hours later, Oakland police arrested Thomas, who is believed to be homeless because he was recently expelled from the house next to Armstead’s.
Thomas was charged on Friday with eight crimes, including murder and assault with a deadly weapon, according to The Mercury News.
Miles Armstead (left), 44, had worked outside his home on Ney Avenue’s 7500 block in Oakland on Friday, when his former neighbor, Jamal Thomas (right), 43, reportedly shot him in the back of the house. head
Armstead recently moved to the house on 76th and Ney with his pregnant second wife, Melina, and his three children, said neighbor Louella Robinson
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said Thomas had been arrested earlier for making “terrorist threats” against Armstead and threatened to set his house on fire.
Thomas was released on February 28.
Authorities and neighbors say he repeatedly destroyed the victim’s home in the weeks that followed, including an incident on April 6, in which Thomas allegedly threw a stone through Armstead’s window and narrowly missed him.
Oakland police issued an arrest warrant for Thomas’s arrest in connection with the incident.
But he was not detained until after Armstead’s murder.
“He kept calling the police, calling the police, and then Jamal stays low, and then he comes back, once you’re on guard, he attacks again,” the anonymous witness told KTVU.
Armstead recently moved into the house on 76th and Ney with his pregnant second wife, Melina, and his three children, neighbor Louella Robinson told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Thomas, meanwhile, had lived on Ney Avenue for more than 20 years before reportedly being evicted. The circumstances of his apparent eviction were not immediately clear.
“They had a little thing in between them,” she said of the two men. “We don’t know what it was. I think they somehow failed. ‘
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said Thomas had been arrested earlier for making “terrorist threats” against Armstead (above), who threatened to set his house on fire, but he was released on February 28
Armstead recently moved to the house on 76th and Ney with his pregnant second wife, Melina (left), and his three children
Cards, flowers, and candles lay in front of the house where Miles was killed in tribute
Robinson said she saw Thomas throw stones through the windows of Armstead’s house and shatter the glass.
The victim recently boarded up his windows, put the house up for sale and displaced his family out of concern for their safety. He had supplied materials to construction workers who were doing renovations when he was killed.
“He and his wife had to get out of that house,” Robinson told the Chronicle.
According to a GoFundMe set up by his friend Jennifer Shallat, Armstead worked as an asset manager at Fremont Bank. He was also a dedicated football coach for his three children and was expecting a fourth child, a girl, with his Melina in August.
“Miles has always wanted the best for his children and worked hard to take care of them,” Shallat wrote. “It was his dream that they all have a good life, and he was an integral part of making that possible.”
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said Thomas had been arrested earlier for making “terrorist threats” against Armstead, who threatened to set his house on fire, but was released on February 28
Robinson, meanwhile, had been inside when she heard the unmistakable clapping of gunfire outside her house on Friday.
By the time she ran out, the suspect was gone.
She said that both she and her neighbors were dumbfounded when they heard Thomas reportedly pulled the trigger.
“Thomas was a good boy, he was coming and everything – that’s why everyone is in a state of shock,” said Robinson. ‘We [are] I still wonder what happened between them. ‘
Tribute to doting dad Miles Armstead has been on social media since news of his death went public.
“There are no words that can express the deep void in my soul. I never thought I would be separated from you so soon, ‘his wife Melina wrote on Facebook. “Your laughter brought me joy, your strength brought me comfort, your love for others made me love you more than I ever thought possible.
“You have always worked so hard, but especially in the past month to remove our family from our home that was no longer safe,” she continued. “You worked relentlessly, day and night; this makes us safe, but now you are physically gone and the pain in my heart is unfathomable. ‘
Friend Lauren Deane wrote: ‘The happiest man in the room is no longer with us and I am deeply hurt by the loss. Miles Armstead was the embodiment of love and light.
“Miles, I’ll miss your smile. My heart breaks for his wife Melina, their children and all his family and friends. ‘
Tributes to loving father Armstead have made it onto social media since news of his death went public
Melina and Miles were expecting a girl together in August, relatives revealed
Friend Lauren Deane wrote: “The happiest man in the room is no longer with us and I am deeply hurt by the loss. Miles Armstead was the embodiment of love and light. “Miles, I’ll miss your smile. My heart breaks for his wife Melina, their children and all his family and friends’
Kelly said law enforcement was doing all they could in the long-running saga between Thomas and Armstead by making the first arrest and issuing an order for the second.
However, the sergeant said the judiciary had missed an opportunity “to keep this gentleman in custody,” and criticized the state for putting too many criminals back on the street.
The California Judicial Council issued emergency powers in mid-April to clear the bail in cases of felony and minor crimes to prevent the spread of coronavirus in prisons.
If Thomas had been arrested for the stone incident – which would involve vandalism and crime involving potentially serious bodily harm – in early April, “he would have been out of jail in six or seven hours,” Kelly said. the Chronicle.
“I think this victim would be alive if Mr. Thomas was detained on his previous charges,” said Kelly. “It is heartbreaking that this gentleman lost his life. I mean, how many red flags do you need? ‘