Mark Becker is charged with the murder of Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas. A 2004 Aplington-Parkersburg graduate is in the Butler County Jail, charged with murdering his former football coach.

At about 7:45 this morning, Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas was shot in the school’s weight-training room; he died later this morning at a Waterloo hospital.

Twenty-four-year old Mark Becker of Parkersburg has been arrested and charged with first degree murder. Kevin Winker, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, says Becker was arrested shortly after the shooting.

“He was taken into a custody at a residence in rural Parkersburg,” Winker says. “He was cooperative at that time and he was taken into custody without incident.”

Court records show Becker was charged with reckless driving, failure to stop at a stop sign and with eluding authorities on Monday for an incident that happened this past Saturday in Cedar Falls. He reportedly was admitted for a mental evaluation, but released. In June of 2003, Becker was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, but the charges were later dismissed.

“I can tell you that Mr. Becker’s entire past is being looked into as a part of this investigation,” Winker says. “But the specific details about where he was at and what he was doing over the last week is not something I’m going to be able to address here today.”

According to investigators, Becker used a hand gun to shoot coach Thomas “multiple times.”