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Polk County man accused of shooting, killing man while celebrating his birthday

The 35-year-old was arrested for second-degree murder with a weapon.

DAVENPORT, Fla. — A man has been arrested after Polk County deputies say he shot and killed another person early Saturday morning.

At around 2:30 a.m., deputies responded to the area of Meadow Green Drive in unincorporated Davenport on reports of a shooting.

Once on scene, they reportedly found someone performing CPR on a person in the front yard of a residence. Polk Fire Rescue arrived shortly after, and the person was pronounced dead.

A preliminary investigation revealed that 35-year-old Thomas Jackson of Loughman was with his girlfriend and another couple celebrating Jackson's birthday. They had all been drinking alcohol, the sheriff's office explains.

But sometime during the celebration Jackson and his girlfriend reportedly started to argue. In an attempt to calm Jackson down, one of the other people at the hangout took him outside the house.

A few minutes later, the two women inside, one being Jackson's girlfriend, heard gunshots, the agency explains. Once outside, they saw allegedly Jackson standing over the other person with the gun on the ground.

One of the girls "confronted" Jackson while the other began life-saving measures, deputies say.

An arrest affidavit reports Jackson told deputies that the other person "came at [him]." But detectives say they didn't see any injuries on him or the person shot that would suggest a struggle happened.

When talking to authorities, Jackson reportedly had a small wallet-size card with instructions about what to say "post-incident." 

“Jackson had a post incident wallet card which instructed him what to tell law enforcement," Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. "If he thought he could murder someone and use this as get out of jail free card, he was sadly mistaken.”

The 35-year-old was arrested for second-degree murder with a weapon.

And this isn't his first run-in with the law, according to the sheriff's office. He was previously arrested for fighting and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon out of Polk County and was previously arrested in Virginia and Georgia.

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