A Memphis man is now charged with attacking two homeless men in recent months

Jul 8, 2024, 4:50 PM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A U.S. Army veteran charged with fatally shooting a homeless man has also been accused of attacking another homeless person with a knife in downtown Memphis, court documents show.

Karl P. Loucks, 41, was charged June 25 with aggravated assault after police said he cut a man twice with a knife, Shelby County court records showed.

The man told police Loucks entered a portable restroom where he sleeps every night and started grabbing at him before Loucks cut him behind the left ear and on the right thumb, causing the man to bleed, a police affidavit said. The man, who was taken to a hospital, said he did not know Loucks.

Loucks was charged May 31 with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Shaun Rhea, leading police to begin investigating whether there was evidence that Loucks had attacked other homeless people.

Blake Ballin, Loucks’ lawyer, has said he was looking into whether Loucks was acting in self-defense during two confrontations with Rhea. Ballin declined comment on the assault charge on Monday.

Loucks is being held without bond. He is scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday.

Loucks attacked Rhea in the early morning hours in downtown Memphis, police said in a separate affidavit. A security guard at a nearby hotel said he saw Loucks use pepper spray against Rhea while Loucks was armed with a knife, police said.

Loucks went into his apartment but returned and shot at Rhea with a rifle, according to police, citing the security guard’s statement. Rhea, who was unarmed, died at a hospital, police said.

Loucks was a health care specialist in the Army from September 2007 to August 2013, said Bryce S. Dubee, an Army public affairs spokesman. Loucks served in Afghanistan from March 2009 to March 2010 and left the Army with the rank of private first class.

Loucks was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army because he was disabled due to post-traumatic stress disorder, Ballin said.

The security guard told police that there had been several incidents where Loucks had attacked homeless people, the police affidavit said. Investigators were looking into whether Loucks has targeted homeless people in the past, Memphis police have said.

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A Memphis man is now charged with attacking two homeless men in recent months