Doniphan family wants answers after man shot to death - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Doniphan family wants answers after man shot to death


By CJ Cassidy - bio | email

DONIPHAN, MO (KFVS) - A Doniphan family wants answers after a man was shot and killed, and his friend is taken into custody.

Tommy Cates, 27, faces murder and armed criminal action charges for allegedly shooting 50-year-old Randy Hamilton with the victim's own gun.

"The hardest part for me is because of the way he did it," Debbie Reagan, Cates's sister, said. "I can't see him and that's really hard."

She says she wishes she could see her brother's face one last time, but after learning Tommy Cates allegedly shot Randy Hamilton in the face twice, she says there's no possibility of an open casket funeral.

"I'm not sure how well Randy knew him but I'm devastated," she said.

"Randy loved everybody. Randy was a free spirit. Randy did his own thing his own way but he would never turn help down if anybody asked for it," her husband Rodney Reagan.

"Anybody who knew the victim knew he kept a gun in the house," Chief Mark Rodgers said.

A sign on Hamilton's door warned people not to get too close, but ironically enough police say the shotgun the suspect used, belonged to Hamilton himself.

Chief Rodgers says the two men had been drinking with another man before the shooting.

"It was some conflict that had arisen between the two over a third party.  That part of it is still an open investigation not going to discuss that now."

Court papers show Cates told authorities Hamilton reacted arrogantly when he confronted him with the issue. Court papers also indicate the suspect knew Hamilton had a gun, and that Cates shot Hamilton twice after grabbing that gun.

Hamilton's family calls the tragedy completely senseless and say they demand some answers from the suspect.

"Why? Please give us a written statement, why you did what you did. The truth. All we want is the truth," Rodney said.

Tommy Cates is being held on $500,000 bond.

Police say they later recovered his clothes and Hamilton's shotgun from a house Cates ran to after the shooting.

As for the other witness, he does not face any charges at this time.

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