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Additional details released in Clearfield County homicide investigation

KYLERTOWN

With a Hawk Run man facing charges of criminal homicide, additional details have been released about the events surrounding a Philipsburg man’s death.

State police at Clearfield filed charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person Wednesday against Dustin Tyler Thomas, 27, in connection with a shooting at a Morris Township residence on Monday evening.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, a witness told police that she and the victim, Brett Michael Bamat, 36, arrived at her home on Bass Lane, near Hawk Run, at about 5 p.m. Thomas, a friend of her husband, was already there.

Thomas reportedly told her that he had completed a chore at the house to help her out. She told Thomas he needed to leave, but Bamat reportedly told him to stay so he could help him with another task around the home.

The witness told investigators that she noticed Thomas was carrying a pistol on his right side throughout the night. She reported that Thomas was drinking Mad Dog alcohol and Bamat was drinking vodka.

At about 8 p.m., the witness’s husband, who is currently incarcerated, called the home. After the witness told him that Bamat and Thomas were at the residence, he told her that Thomas needed to get out. Thomas was reportedly asked to leave, but started crying and saying he couldn’t believe the witness’s husband didn’t want him there.

Thomas then allegedly “got into Bamat’s face” and told him, “I will be more of a brother to (him) than you will ever be.” Thomas and Bamat reportedly started pushing each other inside the kitchen.

Thomas then pulled out his pistol as a scare tactic, according to investigators. The witness told both men to get out of her residence and they went outside where they continued pushing each other.

Police said the witness walked two steps inside the door when she heard a gunshot. She went back outside where she saw Bamat lying in the yard on his side and Thomas standing on the porch allegedly with the pistol in his right hand. Thomas reportedly said, “I just want to shoot myself,” before getting into his vehicle and driving away south on state Route 53.

At 9:22 p.m., police arrived at Thomas’s residence on Glastonbury Street in Hawk Run. His vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, was not there, according to police. Within a few minutes, the vehicle pulled into the driveway and the officers approached it.

An officer opened the driver’s door and told Thomas to get out of the vehicle. Thomas reportedly refused to comply. One trooper grabbed his right arm and another grabbed his left arm to pull him out, but they were unable to get him out, according to the complaint.

After another trooper noticed that Thomas had a gun on his right side, they reportedly used the necessary force to get Thomas out, putting him on the ground while an officer seized the pistol as evidence.

The Clearfield County Coroner’s Office confirmed Wednesday that Bamat died of a single gunshot wound.

Thomas, who remains incarcerated without chance of bail, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing during centralized court at the Clearfield County Prison on Nov. 8.

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