It was an accident we had a fight.
When law enforcement broke down the door of Miami Police Officer Carl Patrick's Pembroke Pines house on May 9, a handwritten note with the above words was found on the kitchen table. The "accident" -- a chilling word considering the context -- was in the master bedroom. The 52-year-old veteran officer was found on the floor, wrapped in burned bed sheets and comforter. Only his feet -- right foot bare, left wearing a sock -- poked out. Blood was on the floorboard, door frame, and walls. A handgun was on the floor.
So began one of the more gruesome -- and bizarre -- news stories to fill the papers and evening newscasts this month. Patrick's girlfriend -- 46-year-old Tiniko Thompson -- refused to speak with police but gave a TV interview claiming the shooting happened by accident during a struggle. Now she's in police custody, charged with Patrick's murder.
And court records released this week paint a very different picture of how Patrick met his end -- not in a struggle but while he was possibly pinned to the floor.
Patrick did not turn up for work on May 7, 8, and 9. According to the arrest affidavit, supervisors called his cell phone on the first day. "Thompson answered and identified herself as the [Patrick's] girlfriend," the document reads. She explained Patrick was taking her to the hospital. "Thompson then hung up when this person asked to speak to Carl directly."
Two days later, Thompson showed up at her mother's house, making suicidal threats. "Thompson told them that she and Patrick struggled over the gun and the victim was shot," the affidavit says. "Thompson left a note at the residence. Thompson then told them that she left the house and slept in the car for a couple of days."
The family called police, which eventually led to the discovery of Patrick's body. Inside the bed sheets, the officer was still wearing his uniform. He was killed by a single gunshot wound through his right inner biceps.
But a further examination of the crime scene began to throw doubt all over Thompson's account (which, incidentally, she never gave to police). The medical examiner determined the exit wound indicated Patrick's back had been pressed against the floor when he was shot -- not moving around in a struggle. The floor beneath where the body was found showed signs of a projectile strike. Further evidence also suggested "he was on his back in a confined place with a restricted ability to move" when he was shot.
Patrick's injuries could not have been self-administered, the medical examiner determined. They also weren't immediately fatal -- meaning Patrick was still alive after he was shot. Meaning someone could have called for help, saved his life.
Instead, Thompson allegedly wrote a note and took off in Patrick's BMW. When police searched the car later, they found another hand-scrawled note in Thompson's purse. It appears to be a test-run or elaboration of what was left on the table.
We had a fight We struggle with gun So please know that I was Scared to call the police Oh he left All his money to Andrea...
A warrant for second-degree murder was taken out against Thompson this week. On Wednesday, she turned herself in to police. She was denied bond in her initial court appearance. Stay tuned for more details on the crime.
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