Simone Biles’s brother is charged in a triple murder

In a booking photo provided by the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, Tevin Biles-Thomas, 24, who was charged with homicide, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury, near Fort Stewart, Ga. Biles-Thomas, 24, a brother of the champion gymnast Simone Biles, is accused of fatally shooting three people at a New Year’s Eve party. (Liberty County Sheriff's Office via The New York Times) -- FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. --
Tevin Biles-Thomas. –Liberty County Sheriff's Office via The New York Times

Tevin Biles-Thomas, whose sister is the champion gymnast Simone Biles, was arrested Thursday and charged with the murder of three people who were shot and killed at a party in Cleveland on New Year’s Eve.

Biles-Thomas, 24, is an active duty member of the U.S. Army who was stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia at the time of his arrest, an Army spokesman confirmed. He was charged with homicide, voluntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury.

The shooting happened at a house party Dec. 31, according to a joint statement from the Cleveland Division of Police and the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office.

Advertisement

“Around 11:30 p.m., an uninvited group walked into the house and an altercation ensued between the uninvited guests and those who were invited,” the statement said. “The altercation led to gunfire and multiple victims were shot, three of which were fatal. Several party attendees fled the scene.”

DelVaunte Johnson, 19; Toshaun Banks, 21; and DeVaughn Gibson, 23, were killed in the shooting. Two others were injured.

“The relentless persistence of Cleveland police homicide detectives helped secure an indictment in this case,” said Michael O’Malley, the prosecutor for Cuyahoga County. “It is through their hard work that we can begin to seek justice for these victims.”

Biles-Thomas is being held at the Liberty County Jail in Georgia and is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 13. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer, and family members could not immediately be reached Friday.

Biles-Thomas is one of Simone Biles’ three biological siblings, but they were not raised in the same household. She and her younger sister, Adria, were adopted by their grandparents, Nellie and Ron Biles, at a young age and raised in the Houston area. Simone Biles has said she considers Ron and Nellie to be her mother and father.

“My birth mother suffered from drug addiction, and when I was just 3 years old, my siblings and I were removed from her custody,” Biles wrote in an essay for CNN last year. “From there, we bounced around until I was 6 and my grandparents made the brave move to adopt us. Although I was young when my foster care ordeal began, I remember how it felt to be passed off and overlooked.”

Advertisement

The nature of Biles-Thomas’ relationship with his sister Simone is unclear, but she has shared photographs of the two of them on social media.

Biles is an Olympic gold medalist and the most decorated U.S. gymnast ever. Her prodigious talent has been a bright spot for USA Gymnastics, an organization that is otherwise in turmoil.

In the U.S. Gymnastics Championships this month, Biles cemented her status atop the sport. Her winning performance included two skills never before executed in a women’s gymnastics competition: a triple double (two flips with three twists) in floor exercise and a double-double dismount (two flips with two twists) off the balance beam.

In a tweet Thursday evening, Biles said, “Eating my feelings don’t talk to me.” Representatives of Biles did not respond to a request for comment Friday morning.