Fort Lewis soldier fatally stabbed on Lakewood street

SEATTLE — A soldier out with his friends was fatally stabbed alongside a Lakewood street early Saturday, and investigators were examining whether the attack was a racially motivated hate crime.

The 20-year-old was walking with two of his friends from Joint Base Lewis-McChord when a car drove by and someone inside shouted a racial comment toward the white soldiers, the Lakewood Police Department said. The soldiers shouted something back, and a group of five black men from the car stopped and surrounded the soldiers, authorities said.

Police said the men in the car began to leave when one of them realized the soldiers were combat veterans, but one of the suspects appeared to bump into the victim as he walked past. As the car left, the soldier fell to the ground, and his friends discovered he had been stabbed.

The soldier died at the scene. Authorities declined to release his name until family members could be notified.

The initial remark that started the encounter was a brief comment about “white guys” that seemed derogatory in nature, said Lakewood police Lt. Chris Lawler. He said it was too early to say that race was the motivating factor, but investigators were exploring whether the killing should be classified as a hate crime.

“We are certainly considering it, for sure,” Lawler said.

Detectives were in the area Saturday looking for businesses or others who might have video from around the time of the stabbing. Lawler said the person who stabbed the soldier should come forward and show remorse now.

“He’s going to get caught,” Lawler said. “Nobody’s going to give up until we catch up.”

Authorities said the suspects are in their 20s and were in a dark blue sedan with tinted windows and low-profile tires.

———

Follow Mike Baker at https://twitter.com/MikeBakerAP .

More in Local News

A close friendship is lost to fire

An 88-year-old Smokey Point mobile home resident died despite a valiant effort by neighbors.

Jensen Webster sorts through food stuffs at the Sultan High School in Sultan on March 14, 2018. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Sultan school children take charge to help their peers

The Sky Valley Youth Coalition has installed pantries at schools so kids can take food home.

Everett woman found dead identified as 21-year-old

There were no obvious signs of trauma on the body of Brianna Leigh Nyer.

Ivar’s in Mukilteo closes for disinfection after illnesses

The Snohomish Health District said it’s not certain what caused some patrons to get sick.

State will spend millions on task forces and reports

Here are eight undertakings that will incite possible action by lawmakers in the future.

Everett man admits deadly slashing of 2 Maltby-area women

John Dimitri Kuljis Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

State: Secret deal endangers Marysville Strawberry Festival

The “bizarre” agreement promises a former leader up to $175,000 if the group fails to meet his demands.

Again, students here join nationwide protests over shootings

Friday’s marches and walkouts marked the 19th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine in Colorado.

Two-day event will offer free medical and dental services

The Amen Everett Free Clinic is expected to serve 400 to 500 patients Friday and Sunday.

Most Read