Thornsley was left partially paralyzed because of his injuries and died of complications from paraplegia, the coroner's office said.
An archived story from The News-Sentinel stated that Thornsley told police that he had been riding his bicycle around 2 a.m., heading home from a nearby service station, after buying a bottle of soda.
Witnesses told police at the time that several shots were fired before they heard Thornsley cry out for help. Witnesses said that a white van fled eastbound on Rudisill at a high rate of speed.
The archived story said that the shots were fired from a .22-caliber rifle, possibly a semiautomatic. Thornsley was struck twice. One of the bullets exited Thornsley's body through the lower right side of his chest; both bullets struck him in the lower back, near his spine, which resulted in his partial paralysis.