According to Dallas police, former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson murdered a jogger on Monday morning by hacking him to death with a “large-edged weapon.” Police say there is no clear motive for the attack.
A police department spokesman told the Dallas Morning News that Johnson appears to have selected his victim at random:
“It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin said. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”
The victim, a so-far-unidentified white male between the ages of 25 and 35, was found shortly before 8:00 a.m. Monday morning and later died at the hospital. Police say that after the alleged attack, Johnson walked to a nearby equestrian center and called 911.
A cyclist who claims to have witnessed the attack described what he saw to NBC DFW:
Brandon, who happened upon the alleged murder in progress, said he saw the man strike his victim six or seven times with the machete.
“As I get closer and closer I could tell it was a machete and there are repeated blows that are occurring. As I get closer, I could see what’s being hit is a person, laying face down on the ground,” Brandon said. “It was apparent to me by the time I got close that there was nothing that could be done for the person.”
Brandon said the killer yelled in his direction as he rode past the attack.
Johnson was one of the highest-rated receiving prospects when he came out of high school, and played 10 games for the Aggies as a freshman in 2012. He disappeared from campus after a game against Alabama, prompting campus police to launch a search for him. He was later found safe in Dallas, and never returned to college football.