Aplington-Parkersburg athletic director/football coach Ed Thomas was shot and died shortly after arriving at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo on Wednesday morning (June 24).
Thomas was shot in the head at point-blank range in the school’s weight room where players were working out in preparation for this fall’s season between 8 and 8:30 a.m. There were about 50 students at the school when it happened but none were injured.
According to authorities, the gunman, who is reportedly not a current student, was captured shortly after the shooting, and is being held at the Butler County jail.
Thomas, who just finished his 37th season of coaching, was honored as the NFL High School Coach of the Year in 2005. Four of his former players are in the NFL, including Green Bay’s Aaron Kampman, Jacksonville’s Brad Meester, Detroit’s Jared DeVries and Denver’s Casey Wiegmann. In his career, Thomas wracked up 292 wins with only 84 losses, a 78 percent winning percentage which makes him eighth on the all-time list of Iowa football coaches.
UPDATE: 24-year old Mark Becker has been identified by police as the gunman. Becker is a former student and football player at Aplington under Thomas.
Thomas was shot multiple times just before 8 a.m. local time, authorities said. About 50 students were in the school, including several in the weight room, at the time. School was not in session, and no one else was injured in the attack.
Becker had been arrested over the weekend and placed for a short time in a mental ward after leading cops in a wild car chase on Saturday night.
Ed Thomas Pictures