Man charged in connection to Poplar Bluff homicide

Paris Thomas (SOURCE: Poplar Bluff Police Dept.)
Paris Thomas (SOURCE: Poplar Bluff Police Dept.)
Marcus McFarland
Marcus McFarland

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A Poplar Bluff man faces murder charges while  the victim's family wants answers after a weekend shooting leaves a father of three dead.

Marcus McFarland, 29, received a single gunshot wound to the abdomen as he sat in a vehicle in the roadway, according to Poplar Bluff Police Lt. David Sutton. McFarland was taken by EMS to a Poplar Bluff hospital and underwent emergency surgery where he later died, according to Sutton.

The shooting happened in the 1100 block of Benton.

Police say Paris Thomas, 23, of the 800 block of Garfield Street was charged Wednesday with the class A felony of first-degree murder, the unclassified felony of armed criminal action and the class C felony of unlawful use of a weapon. 

Thomas was taken into custody Sunday on unrelated charges.  He was booked on an outstanding Butler County warrant for a probation violation on a narcotics offense on $100,000 cash-only bond.

"It hasn't sunk in yet," said McFarland's niece, Leeandrea Jones. "I just remember him as somebody that could always make you smile and always knew how to make you happy. He was a good father and we will miss him."

Denise Harley is the mother of McFarland's two sons and a daughter.

"How do I explain this to my kids when I don't even understand it," said Harley. "I will be glad when we learn what really happened."

Police say they need to more interview before they can come up with a motive.

"Our hearts go out to the family," said Deputy Chief of Police Jeff Rolland. "This is something that affects the entire community. We want to solve this because it scares people that this could happen in a residential neighborhood."

Rolland says both men were known to drug investigations with the Poplar Bluff department. Rolland says right now they are looking for no other suspect and the investigation is on going.

Meanwhile, people in the area early Sunday morning say the scene was peaceful before the shooting.

"This is usually a quiet neighborhood," said Forrest Gipson. "I was over here Sunday morning. Everybody had just come back from a party. But it was quiet."

Gipson says he is friends with both McFarland and Thomas.

"I knew them, this is Poplar Bluff," said Gipson. "It's crazy it happened here. Marcus was a good father he provided for his family."

Monday investigators combed the scene for clues. Meanwhile McFarland's family says they just hope to see justice soon so McFarland can rest in peace.

"We aren't mad at anybody," said Jones. "We just want to know what happened. It's scary you don't know what people will do."

"This is hard," said Harley. "Now I've got to be a mother and a father. Live is short. People need to learn that their actions have consequences. There's too much violence."

Investigators with the Poplar Bluff Police Department, the Butler County Sheriff's Office, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drugs and Crime Control and the Butler County Coroner's Office are investigating the shooting.

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