Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles says her “heart aches for everyone involved” after her brother, who serves in the US army, was charged with murdering three people.
Tevin Biles-Thomas, a 24-year-old from Ohio, is accused of being part of an “uninvited group” that entered a New Year’s Eve house party in Cleveland, leading to a fight with guests that ending in a shooting.
Three men were killed and two others were injured.
Delvante Johnson, 19, and Toshaun Banks, 21, died at the scene – while the third victim – Devaughn Gibson, 23, was pronounced dead in hospital.
A joint statement by police and prosecutors said Biles-Thomas was “a shooter in the incident”.
They declined to elaborate on whether other gunmen were involved, saying: “This case remains under active investigation, therefore we are unable to comment further.”
Biles-Thomas, who holds the rank of specialist and is a cannon crewmember assigned to 3rd Infantry Division, was detained on Thursday.
He joined the army in 2014 and was deployed to Korea in 2018 as part of a rotational deployment.
The arrest came in the same month as his 22-year-old sister made history at the US Gymnastics Championship when she became the first woman to complete a “triple double” – during the floor exercise competition.
Last night, Simone Biles successfully performed a triple double, and the entire world is (correctly) freaking out.
For those interested in the background, here is a short thread explaining *why* the triple double is so difficult. pic.twitter.com/R4UC2jAlnm
— Suzanne F. Boswell (@sf_boswell) August 12, 2019
In a tweet, Simone has revealed she is “still having a hard time processing last week’s news” of her brother’s murder charges.
He is being held in Georgia charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury.
In a post on Twitter, Simone said: “My heart aches for everyone involved, especially for the victims and their families.
“There is nothing that I can say that will heal anyone’s pain, but I do want to express my sincere condolences to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy.
“I ask everyone to please respect my family’s privacy as we deal with our pain.”
Biles-Thomas is due in court on Friday 13 September, and it is unclear if he has a lawyer.
The gymnast and her brother were among several siblings raised by different family members after their biological mother, who struggled with drug abuse, gave up custody when they were young children.
Biles is the most decorated US gymnast and considered to be one of the greatest in her field of all time.
She is among more than 100 gymnasts who say they were abused by former Gymnastics USA team doctor Larry Nassar, who is serving a prison sentence of up to 175 years after pleading guilty to criminal sexual conduct.
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