SAGINAW (WWJ/AP) – A man whose drug-related prison sentence was commuted in November by President Barack Obama has been fatally shot at a federal halfway house in Michigan after two men with assault-style rifles sought him out, police said.
Two men wearing masks went into Bannum Place in Saginaw on Monday night with plans to kill 31-year-old Damarlon Thomas, a former Saginaw gang member. Lt. David Kaiser said Thomas was shot several times by one of the men as some of the roughly two dozen people at the home were held at gunpoint.
“One person watched over a group of them while another subject located the victim and executed him,” Kaiser told The Saginaw News. “They were looking for this person.”
Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene, WSGW-AM reported. No one else was injured and no one was immediately taken into custody.
“This was a very targeted individual, for whatever reason,” said Kaiser. “The people that shot this man knew who they were looking for and wanted him deceased.”
Thomas had been sentenced to 19 years in prison in 2008 on a cocaine charge, but with the commutation the sentence was to expire in March. He was arrested as part of “Operation Sunset,” a federal investigation that effectively dismantled the “Sunny Side Gang” in Saginaw.
Thomas’ commutation, which was among a group of 79 announced Nov. 22, was part of Obama’s second-term effort to try to remedy the consequences of decades of onerous sentencing requirements that Obama said had imprisoned thousands of drug offenders for too long.
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