Man pleads guilty to manslaughter after shooting, killing his roommate in north Minneapolis

A man who told police he “just snapped” when he shot and killed his roommate last year in north Minneapolis pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter on Tuesday.

Charles Raymond Thomas, 72, faces a maximum penalty of 15 years.

His sentencing date is set for the afternoon of Oct. 3.

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The criminal complaint states the shooting happened just before midnight on December 18, 2022 in the 3100 block of Dupont Avenue in Minneapolis.

Responding officers say they found Thomas along with several other family members outside of the home. Thomas then told police he was the shooter and the gun was upstairs inside the home.

Court documents say Thomas had called relatives and told them he had shot his roommate, 57-year-old Willie James Hobbs of Minneapolis. He did not call 911 to help save his roommate’s life.

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The complaint states police found Hobbs’ body with multiple gunshot wounds.

Investigators then found several 9mm shell casings near Hobbs’ body and a gun matching that caliber in the upstairs part of the home.

Thomas’ son told police that he called him saying “Son, I made a mistake. Hurry up now, hurry up now.” When his son arrived, he reportedly said “Son, I don’t know what happened. I just snapped.”

A witness told police she’d come home earlier that night when she heard Thomas and Hobbs arguing. However, she said they went their separate ways so she left. After Thomas called her later saying he needed her help, she went back to the home and heard the shooting — three quick shots followed by a pause and a fourth shot, court documents state.

Thomas later claimed that Hobbs was harassing and bullying him and he “snapped,” adding, “Nobody feel worse than I do about this. I didn’t plan this.”