Upper St. Clair Man Charged With Fatally Shooting Man in Grocery Store Parking Lot

Online records show that Brandon Daniel Thomas was arraigned early Friday and remanded to the Washington County Jail.

City of Washington Police charged an Upper St. Clair man with a single count of homicide stemming from the shooting death Thursday of a 55-year-old Washington man in a grocery store parking lot.

The Observer-Reporter newspaper indicated that Brandon Daniel Thomas, 30, is accused of fatally shooting Vaughn A. Simonelli.

Online court records show that Thomas was arraigned at 4 a.m. Friday before district Judge Mark Wilson and remanded to the Washington County Jail after being denied bail, according to online court records.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Thomas on Oct. 24, online court records show.

"The victim was involved in altercation with another male that led to gunfire in
the parking lot of Shop n’ Save," Washington County Coroner Tim Warco wrote in a release Thursday.

Thomas' preliminary hearing is scheduled on Oct. 24.

william atwell October 19, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Such a shame that idiots like this gives guns a bad name. I have yet to figure why people think they must draw a pistol to be a man.
Koko October 19, 2012 at 04:59 PM
It was definitely not wise of the man who ended up being shot getting out of his car and punching the shooter in the face. It appears he is the one that started the altercation all because of a fender bender. Not a good reason to shoot and kill someone but we don't know all the facts in this case or how the fight was going when the guy was shot. This all could've been avoided if the guy would've just stayed in his car and called the cops to do a report on the accident. It is never wise to go starting a fight with a stranger, you never know who has a gun, a knife, or is just plain crazy.
T&B T October 19, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Do you know what is not "wise"?? Punching a person in the face over a simple fender bender. Totally stupid to the core. When you do stupid things, sometimes they escalate into a very bad situation for you. I taught our son this "Bad decisions limit future options" .and that fits in this situation. I bet had that guy not punched him, the gun would never have been produced.
Maria Miller October 20, 2012 at 02:06 PM
A fist does not equal a gun! Too many permits to carry issued in Alleheny County to too many hot heads.
T&B T October 20, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Have you ever heard of someone being punched and falling & hitting their head and dying? I have; several times.
Lin October 20, 2012 at 11:31 PM
It happened to my neighbor. His wife was standing in a line to get tickets to a movie. The people in front of her were taking too long so she ask them to just pay the girl, another man got in her face so her husband punched him, he fell hit his head and died. Years of trials and court hearings later (it was televised on Court TV at the time) their lives were in termoil just because he couldn't hold his temper. He spent about 2 years in jail and maybe another 2 on house arrest. I don't know about the dead mans family but I'm sure not a day goes by that they don't think about it. PS:These men were in their late 60's waiting in line for a discout matinee!!!
Maria Miller October 21, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Unless they were both put of their cars no one would fall to the ground. There should have been no punching either but if he was able to pull out a gun, he probably didn't fall.
Nicolas October 23, 2012 at 06:37 PM
How many front line combat tours have you done, MAN? punch most of us in the face that has had to kill or be killed many times, and the outcome will look similar to this. The idiot should have stayed in his car.
william atwell October 24, 2012 at 01:40 AM
@ Nicolas, 16 years in EMS. I have been attacked, beaten, lost 16 teeth, 8 pairs of glasses, torn rotator cuff, 2 bulging disks.. So what does being in combat mean?
william atwell October 24, 2012 at 01:44 AM
What you people are saying borders idiotic. It's a fender bender, the shooter was 20 years younger and he had to draw a gun to protect himself? Sorry the shooter was a idiot. I hope he rots in prison. Sorry a man comes at you with fists you use fists. He comes with a knife, bat or gun that is a different story.
Nicolas October 24, 2012 at 02:06 AM
You sure like the word Idiot, William. Combat tour means Front Line Airborne Infantry, Multiple tours. Id give you my afflictions but that stuff means nothing with this story. Your EMS work, though heroic as it is, does not qualify you as some expert in kill or be killed. Hand to hand- knife knife, guns on fist, makes no difference we live in a time when people kill for insulting one another. Live in the now. Go on judging people through the eyes of someone who has lived under the powers of this country and flag, thats what we do for you:)
william atwell October 24, 2012 at 02:21 AM
A few things Nicholas you are the first "vet" that has ever insulted a "doc" does your Kentucky have a wreath? And just because I was doing my JOB does not mean I have not had guns and knives drawn on me. And I have walked away in tact. And I do know how to use hand to hand it's how I walked away
william atwell October 24, 2012 at 02:23 AM
And also Nicholas my great Uncle Herbert Christian gave you the right. Google the name
Nicolas October 24, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Nicolas October 24, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I did my google search doc jr, looks like your ancestor was a great man. Your not far off the mark of the citations involved with our group, we have the same medal in our small group of brothers, as well as the rest of us have Bronze Star with Valor and Purple hearts...So, thanks agin for your work as an EMS, and Once again, your welcome for the ability to run your mouth calling people you don't know idiots. Brandon is a good man and has proven his worth on this planet. You owe him respects even if you never will show it, and thats ok, Good to be an American:)
T&B T October 24, 2012 at 09:19 PM
I like Nicolas's reply. Right on all counts!
Sunshine November 15, 2012 at 03:38 PM
So browsing the internet for some more news on this situation I have come across your conversation. Overall this is a sad situation, but the one thing that strikes me the most is there is a “doc” insulting a “vet”, not the other way around. The vet is the one giving the doc respect for the job he does, yet I haven't read anywhere that the doc returns that respect. Instead what I see is kind of along the lines of the altercation that took place between Vaughn and Thomas. One stranger attacking another without knowing anything about the person he is attacking. The one being attacked is the one asking about the attacker, prior to returning the arguments. And the one being attacked is the one that is defending himself the best due to the fact that the attacker is making him. I mean no disrespect to the doc; you do a tough job in the civilian world. I know docs in the Army, and one in particular stands out in my mind. Without going into too much detail, the doc was in a frontline combat situation, and within feet of his enemy. His gun jammed, so he was forced to beat his enemy to death, with his bare hands, in order to save his own life as well as that of his commanding officer and fellow soldiers. So unless you have a story that compares to that one, I’d say you are arguing outside of your realm of knowledge.
Sunshine November 15, 2012 at 03:38 PM
You need to take a step back and respect the vets that have given you the right to disrespect them. Keep in mind when you disrespect a vet, you disrespect all vets. You are disrespecting your great uncle, who I may remind you, you threw in the face of a vet. I’m guessing that you did that thinking you were arguing with a pencil pusher who was just calling himself a vet. You may want to do a little research on the 173rd Airborne Brigade, what tours they served, what soldiers they lost, what missions they conducted, what medals they possess before you continue with your argument. Within the 173rd they have mustard stains, CIBs, The Medal of Honor, numerous Bronze Stars with Valor, and numerous Purple Hearts. Maybe you’ll return the respect due to the vets you have insulted. In all actuality you show your idiocy, your ignorance when arguing against a point, a lifestyle, a brotherhood you know nothing about.
william atwell November 15, 2012 at 03:59 PM
@ sunshine I don't disrespect no one. Pointing out a few things. 1 some have paid the ultimate price for "our" freedoms, 2nd my family has paid with intrest. 3rd pointing out that when someone carries a gun need to use common sense. Sorry I believe in reasonable person belief. I don't believe in someone walks over and jacks a jaw that give you right to shoot them down. And one more thing people who have died for the bill of rights did them for all said rights not just one's you agree with. Sorry. I don't care if a man won CMH, we are still bound by God's laws and Mans law. And what this guy who was arrested is proving guilty beyond a reasonable doubt will pay his debt to man. And one day will stand in front of St. Peter and argue his reason to God. Sorry seems ironic that everyone things he was justified. Then more comes out that is really a shame. So my question was he being rational? Or was his addictions controlling his behavior? And I stand by initial posting he is and was a idiot! Sorry my family has serve d in combat and none of them have acted this way. But hey what do I expect from liberals where it's never the persons fault it's always a ISM's fault.
william atwell November 15, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Another thing why is it when I excersie my 1st amendment right all of a sudden I am disrespectful? Oh wait because I have differnt life experiences. I have been shot at, injured and ran over doing the job. I have walked the streets of hell helping my fellow man in there hour of need. So don't talk to me about sacrifice. I have a batter body and mind. I have seen what "idiots" do to there lives. And the. I get to explain to parents the why.
Sunshine November 15, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I'm not arguing whether or not anyone's views/actions are right. What I'm arguing is people take everyone else's opinions, and turn and spin them into what they see as right/wrong. And then turn around and attack the other person trying to prove their opinions are right, and the other persons are wrong. Instead of respecting people’s opinions they attack their opinions. So in your response you have proved my point. I’m not saying that your family hasn’t “paid their dues” when it comes to serving in the military. I’m saying you are being disrespectful to the vet you are talking to in this string. You can’t see that because you are so angry, and feel like you are the one being attacked. You can’t even take a breath and acknowledge that fact. You talk of people being reasonable. Are you being reasonable? I don’t know what deployments your family has been on, or what type of combat they have been involved in. Combat has different effects on people. I know people who have been through hell and appear to come out unscathed. I also know men who went through combat and came out broken and battered, physically and mentally.
Sunshine November 15, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I’m also not arguing law and which laws to follow; you should follow all of them. If you must know, which again you haven’t asked, I am in law enforcement. So I know a little bit about law but I’m not here to discuss law, religion, or how combat affects people. I was simply stating that you should look at how you treat others before you accuse them of treating you with ill will. If you can’t accept that, maybe it is you who will be defending yourself in front of St. Peter.
Sunshine November 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Do unto others as you would have them do to you...could be applied to this conversation....that's all I was saying.


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