MORRISDALE — A Hawk Run man was arraigned Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. by Magisterial District Judge Jerome Nevling on a charge of criminal homicide and other charges after a shooting incident Monday night that claimed the life of Brett Michael Bamat, 36, of Philipsburg.
Dustin Tyler Thomas, 27, was charged with felony criminal homicide and aggravated assault, misdemeanor simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Thomas is currently lodged in the Clearfield County Jail and was denied bail. In the state of Pennsylvania, defendants charged with criminal homicide are not eligible for bail.
Clearfield-based state police were dispatched around 8:39 p.m. Monday to 45 Bass Lane, Morris Township, for a reported shooting. When police arrived they found Bamat deceased at the rear of the residence.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Trooper Matthew Gray, police spoke with a witness, Valerie Bamat, who said Brett Bamat was her brother-in-law. She stated Thomas was a friend of her husband’s. The woman arrived at her home around 5 p.m. with Brett Bamat to find Thomas there. She told Thomas that he needed to leave, but Brett Bamat said he could stay and help him with a pipe in the window for a wood burner. She also advised police that Thomas had been drinking Mad Dog alcohol and Brett Bamat had been drinking vodka.
Around 8:04 p.m. Monday, Valerie Bamat’s husband, Timothy Bamat, called from the Perry County Prison where he is currently incarcerated. When Valerie Bamat informed her husband that Thomas was there, he informed her that Thomas needed to leave the residence.
Thomas was then asked to leave and became distraught. He and Brett Bamat eventually started to push each other inside the kitchen, with Thomas pulling out a pistol as a scare tactic. Valerie Bamat told both men to leave the house and they began to push each other outside. The woman then told police that she walked back into the residence, took two steps inside and heard a gunshot. She went back outside to see Brett Bamat laying in the yard on his side and Thomas standing on the porch with a pistol in his hand.
Thomas then left the residence and started heading south on state Route 53. Members of Philipsburg-based arrived at Thomas’ residence at 338 Glastonbury St., Hawk Run, around 9:22 p.m. After a few minutes, Thomas returned home and was taken into custody after refusing to get out of his vehicle.
Clearfield County Deputy Coroner Kim Shaffer-Snyder said Brett Bamat’s time of death was 8:30 p.m. Monday, with the cause being a gunshot wound to the chest. Shaffer-Snyder listed the manner of death as a homicide.
Thomas has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 8 at 10:15 a.m. at Centralized Court.
Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. on Wednesday commending the state police in locating and taking Thomas into custody without incident.
“This was a dangerous situation and the police did an outstanding job in safely resolving the issue,” Shaw said.