Isle of Wight deputies still searching for man suspected in fatal workplace shooting

Isle of Wight

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The search continues for the suspect in last week’s deadly workplace shooting at a warehouse in Isle of Wight County.

Deputies continue to look for 23-year-old Preston Thomas. He is accused of killing 26-year-old Rakim Breeden after an argument over a broken cell phone at the Safco Products warehouse.

“The longer he is on the run, it doesn’t help his case,” said Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Tommy Potter.

The weeklong search for Thomas has turned up few results. It’s left deputies wondering where he could be hiding.

Investigators have been looking for Thomas since Thursday. That’s when deputies say he shot and killed Rakim Breeden at the warehouse. It was Breeden’s first day of work. It apparently happened after an argument when Breeden accidentally broke Thomas’ cell phone.

“Normally in these types of events, a lot of our efforts go into figuring out who committed this particular crime,” Potter added. “In this case, we know who did it. We have warrants on file, so it changes the method of the investigation.”

Deputies spent the last week tacking down leads, but they have run dry. The sheriff’s office didn’t want to get into specifics when it comes to the investigations, but say they have several avenues.

“We will look at previous work history,” Potter said. “We’ll look at known associates. We’ve talked with his family, and we’ve stressed to his family the importance that he turn himself in.”

According to court documents obtained by 10 On Your Side, the evidence against Thomas is mounting. 

Deputies searched his townhome and car parked out front. Investigators say they found a gun in his car along with several magazines. They found another gun in his home. We also learned there is surveillance video from Safco that shows Thomas allegedly shooting Breeden.

“Our worry is that the longer this person remains at large, the more edgy or more fearful he gets,” Potter said. “We obviously want to provide some answers to the family and bring closure, but as long as Mr. Thomas is not in sufficient custody, there’s not going to be closure for the family.”

Breeden’s family tells us he will be laid to rest Thursday. 

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