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Girlfriend charged with killing veteran Miami police officer

Miami Times staff report | 6/5/2014, 9 a.m.

She told police her boyfriend accidentally shot himself before he died. But Pembroke Pines police accuse Tinikio Thompson of murdering veteran Miami police officer Carl Patrick, who was found dead in his Pembroke Pines home last month.

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Thompson

At her mother’s home in Opa-locka last Wednesday, one day after what would have been Patrick’s 53rd birthday, Thompson, 46, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. Authorities escorted her to the Broward County jail where she is being held without bond.

She was reportedly taken into custody after being pulled over by police while driving with her attorney, Rod Vereen.

REVEALING INVESTIGATION

The arrest came after an investigation by Pembroke Pines detective Carl Heim, who signed a detailed, six-page arrest warrant describing how Thompson attempted to cover up the alleged crime by lying and misleading police. Authorities say evidence collected at the home of Patrick, 53, shows Thompson was responsible for the officer's death on May 7. His body was found May 9.

Prior to Thompson's arrest, her attorney alleged that Patrick had hit her. Thompson also said that she and Patrick struggled over a gun before Patrick shot himself by accident. Thompson apparently failed to report the shooting for two days, according to the affidavit.

CONFLICTING STATEMENTS

Two of Patrick’s supervisors told detectives they called the officer’s cell phone at separate times on Wednesday, May 7 when he did not show up for work. The two said Thompson answered the phone on both occasions and identified herself as Patrick’s girlfriend. According to the affidavit, Thompson told one of them she was at the hospital and that Patrick had just stepped out of the room. In a separate phone call, Thompson told the other co-worker that Patrick was driving her to the hospital. Thompson then hung up when one co-worker asked to speak to Patrick directly, according to the affidavit. During both phone calls, Thompson did not inform either officer that there had been an altercation or emergency of any type at Patrick’s home.

From the start, police officers found it difficult in getting Thompson to cooperate with the investigation. When asked by the Opa-locka police where Patrick was, Thompson said “I invoke my rights . . . will not answer any questions without my attorney present,” according to the affidavit. She then went back into mother’s house.

LACK OF EVIDENCE

According to the affidavit, Patrick was found in his uniform with bed covers that were “lit on fire and placed on top of the body.” And contrary to Thompson’s claim that Patrick mistakenly shot himself, police determined there was no gunpowder residue on his hands and that the trajectory of the bullet into his right arm and chest made it impossible for him to have shot himself since the officer is right handed.

According to a Broward medical examiner autopsy report, Patrick's injuries would have been survivable had medical assistance been obtained. Patrick, according to the examiner “lived several minutes after the gunshot.”

The affidavit also said Thompson did not offer aid or call for medical assistance.

According to news reports, Thompson reportedly tried to clean up the crime scene and took Patrick's cell phone so that he couldn't call for help. The source said Thompson left behind a note saying the shooting was accidental, but the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy ruled the incident a homicide.