HUDSON — A 45-year-old man was arrested on a first-degree murder charge Sunday, four days after he attacked another man with a machete and knife at a homeless camp, deputies said.
Tyreik Laron Rooks initially denied involvement in the man’s death, then admitted that he attacked the man with a machete on Wednesday at the camp in the woods off U.S. 19, according to a news release issued Monday by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies received a call about 2:15 p.m. asking for a welfare check on a man believed to be living at the camp near the 13000 block of U.S. 19, the release states. Deputies did not find the man that day but returned the next day and discovered his body.
According to an arrest affidavit, a witness told deputies that Rooks gave the man $15 to put toward a drug purchase and became angry when the man returned to the camp without the expected amount of drugs. Rooks struck the man multiple times with a machete, causing him to fall to the ground, the witness said. When Rooks later saw the man walking in an apparent effort to leave the camp, Rooks stabbed him four to five times in the torso with a steak knife, according to the affidavit. The man fell to the ground and Rooks stabbed him again, the affidavit said.
In an interview with a detective on Sunday, Rooks initially claimed he hadn’t see the man since Oct. 2, then changed his story and admitted to striking him with a machete and burying his body at the camp site, the affidavit states.
The Sheriff’s Office as a practice does not release names of crime victims due to Marsy’s Law.