The parents of a man who was killed just over two weeks ago in Killeen disagree with the Killeen Police Department’s description of the circumstances surrounding their son’s death.
“Hopefully they can give us some resolution because we know he was murdered,” said Charles Toms, father of Yorrick Michaels-Toms, on Thursday. “We’re expecting to see some charges on someone.”
Michaels-Toms, 24, was shot and killed on Dec. 20 at an apartment in the 4500 block of Westcliff Road after what police described as an altercation after an attempted burglary. Police said they are still investigating but haven’t said if anyone will be charged.
In a press release issued Wednesday, Killeen police said Michaels-Toms was the intruder in the case.
“We’re frustrated and hurt because we’re still in mourning and then to read him described as an ‘intruder’ was upsetting,” said Renee Michaels, mother of Michaels-Toms.
She said she called KPD after she read the story on Wednesday.
“I let them know we’re not going to allow them to make our son into another statistic, another robbery gone wrong,” she said. “Yorrick was not a thug and he was not a criminal. He was a good person. I think KPD is stereotyping our son because of the area where he lived.”
Michaels-Toms lived in another apartment at the same address.
His mother said she is convinced that people who knew her son set him up and murdered him.
“It was an abandoned apartment two doors down from where he lived,” she said. “And I know he had just gotten off work.”
Killeen police say the apartment was not vacant and a burglary was interrupted by the resident.
The family told the Herald previously that their son had no criminal history and had recently passed a background check for his job at Blackboard, and just recently was holding down two jobs. Michaels-Toms dreamed of owning a tractor-trailer to support his 1-year-old daughter, they said.
Toms said the news release was the first time he had heard the story that Michaels-Toms broke into an apartment and got into an argument with a homeowner that turned physical and then deadly.
“It surprised us; (KPD) never shared that with us,” he said.
Police said they had told the family.
"The family was notified on multiple occasions by detectives and supervisors that Mr. Toms was the intruder," said KPD spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez.
The Michaels and Toms families are preparing to bury their son on Friday in Maryland.
“It’s been difficult for all of us but we’re coming together as a family and we’re going to make it through,” Toms said, adding he is thankful for all the support that has flooded the family.
“We’ve been getting phone calls, cards,” he said. “I hope that anyone who knows something will come forward. This is a tragedy for our family.”