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Arrest made after man found shot to death in Apple Valley

UPDATE 12/19 @ 850 AM – The victim has been identified as MIchael Ryan, age 40 of the county area of Apple Valley.

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( – Thomas Butcher, 56, of Apple Valley was arrested for murder after he shot a man who later died, officials said.

It happened December 17, at approximately 3:41 pm, deputies from the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to a property in the 24500 block of Thunderbird Road in the county area of Apple Valley following the report of a shooting.

“Deputies and emergency fire personnel responded and located the victim, outside on the property, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound,” sheriff’s officials said in a news release.

The victim was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Homicide Detectives responded and during the investigation, they determined the suspect, Thomas Butcher had shot the victim and fled the location.

“At approximately midnight, while homicide detectives and crime scene personnel were still at the Thunderbird Road property, Butcher returned and made contact with investigators,” officials said. Butcher was transported to the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station, interviewed by homicide detectives and subsequently arrested.

Butcher is currently being held without bail and is scheduled for arrangement in a Victorville courtroom on December 20th.

Sheriff’s officials have not released any details on a possible motive that resulted in the murder.

The investigation is on-going and anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Detective Bruce Southworth or Sergeant Robert Warrick at (909)387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at

(submitted photo)

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Police launch investigation after man found shot to death in Apple Valley

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