Man convicted in 1999 Seattle shipyard killings

By Gene Johnson

Associated Press

SEATTLE – A King County Superior Court jury today convicted Kevin Cruz of shooting two people to death and wounding two others at a Lake Union shipyard in November 1999.

Cruz, 32, of suburban SeaTac, was convicted of two counts of aggravated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Cruz faces a sentence of either death or life in prison without possibility of release for the murder counts, with his fate to be decided at a penalty hearing before the jury.

The case went to the jury Thursday.

During his trial, prosecutors alleged that Cruz harbored a grudge against the Northlake Shipyard because he never fit in there as an employee and because its insurance company initially refused to pay medical bills for a supposed injury he suffered on the job.

Prosecutors said that on the morning of Nov. 3, 1999, Cruz walked into an office at the shipyard wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses. They alleged he fired 11 rounds, killing Peter Giles, 27, and Russell Brisendine, 43, and wounding Jaromir Mach and Patrick Ming before walking out.

Police swarmed the residential neighborhood searching for a suspect.

They found none until two months later, when a mountain biker discovered a backpack in nearby Gasworks Park. The backpack, lined with foil, contained a camouflage jacket, a camouflage Budweiser bandanna, a holster and the murder weapon, among other items.

A DNA sample from the holster matched Cruz’s, and he acknowledged during police questioning the bag was his. The 9 mm pistol was reported stolen from one of his friends a year earlier, and prosecutors said a bullet found in Cruz’s bedroom had markings proving it had been cycled through the murder weapon.

His lawyers, Eric Lindell and Jim Conroy, tried to poke holes in the state’s arguments by saying the DNA evidence was mishandled by analysts, who didn’t know whether one sample came from the holster or the bandanna.

They also stressed that neither of the survivors picked Cruz’s picture out of a photo montage the day after the shootings.

Both, however, identified him as the shooter in court.

Cruz offered no alibi for the morning of the shootings, except to say that he was walking around Seattle.

Copyright ©2002 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A boat drives out of the Port of Everett Marina in front of Boxcar Park, which is one of the sites set to be elevated in preparation for rising sea levels on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How the Port of Everett is preparing for a rising sea level

Big and little changes are in the works along the north Everett shore, though they are easy to overlook.

View of trees at 5th Avenue S and Main Street in Edmonds. (City of Edmonds)
Edmonds council: Home developers, put down those chainsaws!

A new moratorium halts the subdivision of land that has more than eight trees per 10,000 square feet.

The Avenue A/Riverfront Gazebo decorated for the holidays on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020 in Snohomish, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The venerable Snohomish gazebo is in need of a remodel

The popular place for marriage proposals is in disrepair and is expected to be rebuilt in 2021.

One person hospitalized after Everett house fire

The person was taken to Harborview Medical Center after the Sperry Lane home caught fire.

A major fire broke out on the Everett waterfront Monday morning in an apparently difficult location. (Sue Misao / The Herald) 20181008
Everett boater gets house arrest for fraud in marina fire

He lost his boat in a 2018 fire. But valuables he claimed were destroyed weren’t burned. He sold them on OfferUp.

Auditor: Lack of oversight led to errors in Sultan finances

For a second time, the state auditor’s office urged the city to improve its financial review process.

Local economic relief programs to get $4.5 million infusion

The new cash will go to small businesses via city grant programs and Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

New Snohomish County online guide aims to boost businesses

County officials have launched an online business directory to help shoppers find local food and wares.

Port of Everett, state offer new small business grants

Port tenants and companies affected by COVID-19 health restrictions are encouraged to apply.

Most Read