FBI: Man admits casino shooting, claims self-defense

PORTLAND, Ore. — A man accused of killing a driver he argued with outside a casino in Tacoma acknowledged shooting the man but said it was in self-defense, an FBI agent says in court documents.

Jeremy Schlenker, 27, of Toppenish, also assaulted his girlfriend and shot a gun in the air in the casino parking lot before blocking Brandon Williams into a parking place and then attacking him when he and a passenger confronted Schlenker, FBI Special Agent Michael Brown said.

Schlenker fled the shooting with his girlfriend and was arrested Saturday afternoon as he drove on I-5 near Salem, Oregon, authorities said. He made an initial court appearance Monday in Portland and was ordered held without bail as he waits to be transferred to Washington state.

A caller told an emergency dispatcher at 11:24 p.m. Friday that Schlenker assaulted his girlfriend and pulled a gun on her, the agent said in court documents establishing probable cause to arrest Schlenker on a murder charge.

An hour later, someone reported to Emerald Queen Casino security that a man later identified as Schlenker was in the parking lot with a gun. A security guard saw Schlenker fire a shot in the air before getting into a silver car, Brown wrote. Schlenker and his girlfriend then drove around the parking lot.

Minutes later, he blocked Williams’ vehicle from backing out of a parking space and then got out of his Chevy Malibu. One of the three women in Williams’ car got out to talk to Schlenker.

When Williams joined the argument, Schlenker pistol-whipped the Puyallup man and shot him twice, the agent wrote.

Brown said a security guard witnessed the killing along with the passengers, and it was captured on casino surveillance video.

Police stopped Schlenker’s car after following him from Vancouver, Washington. A .40-caliber pistol fell out of a sleeping bag that was in the vehicle, Brown said, and the shell casings found in the parking lot were from such a pistol.

Schlenker, an enrolled member of the Crow Indian Tribe, confessed after being read his Miranda rights, but said he acted in self-defense, Brown wrote.

The documents do not provide further details on Schlenker’s side of the story. Gerald Needham, the federal public defender who represented him at Monday’s hearing in Portland, did not return a message.

Seattle FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich said the agency would not comment further on the investigation.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Separate road rage incident ends with fatal shooting in Lake Stevens

A man, 41, died at the scene in the 15300 block of 84th Street NE. No arrests have been made.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement partners advise the public of of colorful fentanyl.  (Photo provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration)
After rainbow fentanyl pills found in Tulalip, police sound alarms

Investigators are concerned the pastel-colored pills may end up in the hands of children.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

A view of a 6 parcel, 4.4 acre piece of land in Edmonds, south of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Housing authority seeks more property in Edmonds

The Housing Authority of Snohomish County doesn’t have specific plans for land near 80th Avenue West, if its offer is accepted.

Most Read