Simone Biles addressed the news that her 24-year-old brother Tevin Biles-Thomas was arrested for his alleged involvement in a triple murder that happened in Cleveland, Ohio, on New Year’s Eve.
According to the Washington Post, the Olympic gymnast didn’t grow up with her brother. Her three siblings were placed in foster care because of their mother’s addiction struggles. Biles, although born in Ohio, was adopted and raised in Texas by her grandfather, along with her sister.
Biles-Thomas and another sister stayed in Ohio, where they were raised by a great-aunt.
“My heart aches for everyone involved, especially for the victims and their families,” Biles tweeted on Monday. “There is nothing that I can say that will heal anyone’s pain, but I do want to express my sincere condolences to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy. I ask everyone to please respect my family’s privacy as we deal with our pain.”
WKYC-TV in Ohio reports the shooting occurred on Cleveland’s west side in an apartment building where a New Year’s Eve party took place. The apartment was operating as an Airbnb at the time when an “uninvited group” entered.
At some point, a dispute broke out and shots were fired, which injured two and killed 19-year-old DelVaunte Johnson, 21-year-old Toshaun Banks and 23-year-old DeVaughn Gibson. Investigators believe Biles-Thomas was the shooter.
He’s been charged with multiple counts of murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault and perjury. His arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 13.
After Biles’ message, a lot of her fans sent their support and said it was big of her to issue a statement.
“You didn’t have to say a word, it says a lot about you that you did,” someone tweeted on Monday.
“You shouldn’t have to explain yourself to anyone as you didn’t have anything to do with the unfortunate events,” wrote someone else. “We will always love and support you.”