Friend, neighbor speak about Saratoga man shot to death

Hardin County Sheriff's deputies found 47-year-old Thomas Wood shot in the chest after responding just after midnight Friday to reports of a shooting at a home on Flowers Drive in Saratoga.

Wood was later pronounced dead at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth in Beaumont.

Deputies found two women and two men at the home. They say the women had been assaulted. One was Wood's common law wife Wendy McMichael.

Those who knew Wood had nothing but good things to say about him. But something happened late Thanksgiving night that led someone to kill him. And investigators believe one of the 2 men at the scene shot him in the chest.
"He was just as nice a guy you would ever want to meet," said Curtis Hortman, Wood's next door neighbor of more than 10 years.

Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance at Wood's home just after midnight Friday morning and found Wood shot in the chest.

"Tom was a good neighbor, he and I swapped jobs all the time, in fact one time he came here and mowed my yard when my lawnmower broke down," said Hortman.

Another neighbor said the night of the shooting Wood's wife Wendy ran down the street to her friend Melba Morse's house. He said it looked like she had been beaten up. He says Morse and two others then went to Wood's house to talk to Thomas.

"Somebody told me that Tom came out of the house with a shotgun and the boy shot him," Hortman said. 
Authorities have not been able to confirm the events that led to the shooting, and the shooter has not been identified.

Annie Murphy, a close friend of Wood, says it never should have happened.

"I think people need to mind their own business and not butt their nose in other people's business. I think he would still be here if they would've stayed over there and left him alone," she said.
Deputies say Morse had been assaulted when they arrived on scene. Morse said over the phone that Wood was shot out of self defense.

"I've known him since I was a kid and I've never ever had any problems out of him...ever," Murphy said. 

As of Tuesday morning no one had been charged with a crime in the shooting.

Morse said over the phone that the person who shot Wood is very upset about what happened and is seeking counseling.

Hardin County Sheriff Ed Cain says the case will be turned over to District Attorney David Sheffield for further review.  

Wood's memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday at 2pm at First Baptist Church in Saratoga.



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