*This goes in the WTF category…sheesh*
UPDATE (10:28 a.m.): PARKERSBURG — Shock and disbelief reverberated around the state today with the stunning news that one of Iowa’s best known high school football coaches was shot and killed this morning in the weight room of the high school.
Coach Ed Thomas was rushed to a hospital after being shot. Covenant Medical Center officials confirmed about 10:30 a.m. that Thomas, 58, died shortly after arrival in the emergency room.
Several reports say Thomas was shot in the head.
Butler County Sheriff Jason Johnson said that a suspect has been taken into custody and is at the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s a young individual,” Johnson said.
“We know of no other injuries,” Johnson said.
A witness said someone shot Thomas in the school’s converted weight room next to the high school. The incident happened shortly before 8:30 a.m.
Traffic was stopped briefly on Highway 20 as an air ambulance landed and picked the coach up from an awaiting ambulance. Thomas was reportedly air-lifted to Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has been called in, said Jon Thompson, superintendent of A-P schools.
Crime scene tape surrounds a large part of land around the red shed. A crowd was gathering near the school. People driving by could be seen crying.
Parents and students were gathering about 9:45 a.m. at the elementary school.
Thomas has coached for 37 seasons. He has a career record of 292-84, including 156-31 as Aplington-Parkersburg’s head coach. He has won two state titles – 1993 and 2001.
Thomas has led A-P to 19 state playoff appearances. Thomas’ win total ranks ninth all-time among Iowa high school football coaches.
Thomas began his coaching career at Northeast Hamilton in Blairsburg.
He was the NFL High School Coach of the Year in 2003. He has four former players active in the NFL — Brad Meester of Jacksonville; Jared DeVries; Casey Wiegmann of Denver; Aaron Kampman of Green Bay.
“You know, Coach Thomas is the pillar of the community. Anything that affects him affects Parkersburg,” Johnson said.