- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) - An Army veteran acquitted in the fatal shooting of another western Pennsylvania motorist following a road-rage dispute says he’s “not a murderer.”

Thirty-two-year-old Brandon Thomas, of Upper St. Clair, made those remarks to WPXI-TV (https://bit.ly/SnmxY0 ) a week after a Washington County jury cleared him in the October 2012 shooting of 55-year-old Vaughn Simonelli.

Thomas earned three Purple Hearts in three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Thomas claims he fired in self-defense only after he was blocked in his parking space by Simonelli’s vehicle, moments after the men argued at a traffic signal.

Thomas tells the station, “I’m a father, I’m a husband, I’m a good guy who has some problems. That doesn’t make me a murderer.”

Thomas contends he shot Simonelli only after being punched in the head.


Information from: WPXI-TV, https://www.wpxi.com

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