HUGO, Okla. – An investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) into a shooting that resulted in the death of 47-year-old B.J. Youngblood has led to the arrest of 34-year-old Thomas “Tommy” Phillips III.
On December 20, 2020, the Choctaw County Sheriff’s Office requested OSBI assistance with a homicide investigation that occurred at Tommy’s Bar on US Highway 70 in Fort Towson, Okla. During the investigation, agents learned that in the late-night hours of December 19, 2020, Phillips was at the bar and began causing problems with other patrons. An employee of the bar asked Phillips to leave and an altercation took place between Phillips and the bar patrons who were assisting with removing him from the bar. Phillips went to his vehicle and retrieved a firearm, and then fired multiple rounds into the exterior wall of the bar. One of the rounds fired by Phillips hit and killed Youngblood who was not involved in the altercation. Phillips initially left the scene.
While OSBI agents were processing the crime scene, a Choctaw County Deputy saw Phillips’ vehicle drive by the bar. As the deputy attempted to catch up to Phillips, he accelerated and turned off his vehicle headlights in an attempt to evade law enforcement. Phillips’s vehicle eventually left the roadway and hit a tree. Phillips was not wearing a seat belt and suffered significant injuries. He was medi-flighted to an Oklahoma City hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
The Choctaw County District Attorney’s Office charged Phillips with First-Degree Murder, Felony Discharging a Firearm into a Dwelling, and five counts of Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon.
On Thursday, January 14, 2021, Phillips surrendered to authorities at the Choctaw County Courthouse. He was taken into custody and denied bond.