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Detectives Link Suspect In July Encampment Shooting to 2015 Homicide

After months of canvassing homeless encampments and searching for leads in areas with nicknames like “the field” and “the cave,” SPD homicide detectives have linked a 22-year-old man recently arrested for a shooting at a camp earlier this month to a fatal shooting of a homeless man in October 2015.

Witnesses called Seattle police Around 4 AM on October 9, 2015 after hearing an argument and gunshots in the 1000 block of 4th Avenue South. A 45-year-old man was fatally wounded in the shooting, and was found hunched over at a bus stop.

Police learned the victim had been living at a homeless encampment in the area and had been involved in a dispute with the 22-year-old man.

Through tips and witness interviews, SPD Homicide detectives learned the victim of the shooting had been living in a homeless encampment in the area. Detectives soon identified a suspect in the shooting as a 22-year-old man, who reportedly believed the victim had stolen a wallet full of cash from him.

Detectives searched for the suspect, but were unable to locate him.

Months later, on July 3rd, 2016, police were called to another encampment in the 1200 block of Airport Way South after a woman was shot in the stomach. Medics transported the woman to Harborview Medical Center for emergency surgery where she is expected to recover.

The victim identified the suspect as the same 22-year-old man police had been searching for in connection with the October 2015 homicide and, on July 11th, located the man and booked him into the King County Jail. He now faces charges for homicide and assault for the two shootings.

“SPD continues to work diligently to make the Duwamish Greenbelt—commonly referred to as “the Jungle”—and surrounding areas safer. I’d like to acknowledge the outstanding work of our detectives leading to this arrest,” said Chief Kathleen O’Toole.