AP Coach Murdered, Former Player Charged


Coach Ed Thomas spoke at the 2008-2009 TV9 Athlete of the Week Banquet.
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Info on Ed Thomas Memorial Fund

BUTLER COUNTY - Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas, 58, died after being shot multiple times around 7:47 Wednesday morning at the school's weight room. Mark Becker, 24, of Parkersburg, has been charged with first degree murder. He is being held in the Butler County jail.

Becker made an initial appearance on a first-degree murder charge Wedensday afternoon in the Butler County Jail in front of Judge Peter Newell. The Associate District Court Judge set Becker's bail at $1 million cash. TV9 has learned that authorities plan to move Becker to the Cerro Gordo County Jail in Mason City, however the reason is unclear.

Thomas was shot in the head at point-blank range, according to business manager Pat Gosch. Thomas was taken initially to Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, Muller said. Butler County Sheriff Jason Johnson has confirmed Becker did not have a gun permit, but investigators wouldn't comment further.

No students were injured. The school was placed on lock-down immediately after the incident.

Thomas was supervising the early-morning weightlifting in Parkersburg when the shooting happened just before 8:30 a.m. Thomas runs a program during the summer for students, not just members of the team.

The district's superintendent and a guidance counselor are meeting with students who were in the weight room at the time of the shooting. Thomas is also the athletic director at the school.

A vigil for Coach Thomas was held at the Aplington-Parkersburg football field Wednesday evening.

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