The Safeway parking lot in Snohomish, where police from a King County agency shot a man after a car chase on Sept. 27. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

The Safeway parking lot in Snohomish, where police from a King County agency shot a man after a car chase on Sept. 27. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Suspect shot by police in Clearview charged with murder

Joseph Dixon was booked into jail as a suspect for a Kent gas station shooting that left one man dead.

SEATTLE — Police were pursuing a homicide suspect from King County when he was shot in a Clearview parking lot Monday.

On Wednesday, Joseph Dixon, 39, was charged with premeditated murder for a gas station shooting in Kent last month.

The Renton man evaded law enforcement for a week before the confrontation in Snohomish County.

A man drove his nephew and a friend to pick up some marijuana blunt rolling papers around 1:20 a.m. Sept 19, according to charging papers filed in King County Superior Court. The trio pulled up next to a gas pump at the Circle K on Meeker Street in Kent.

Seconds later, a suspect described as a skinny white man — later identified as Dixon — walked out of the gas station store, approached the gray Cadillac and opened the rear passenger-side door. He opened fire on the trio, according to court papers.

The man in the back seat, Devon Hill, suffered a gunshot wound to the side of his head and died. The uncle suffered gunshots to his head, chest, arm and shoulder. The nephew was shot once in the shoulder. The uncle and nephew escaped the vehicle and ran before they collapsed to the ground.

Joseph Dixon got into the driver’s seat of the Cadillac and drove off with the body of Hill, 23, in the back seat, according to the allegations. He’s accused of pulling over a few blocks away, dumping Hill’s body in a gutter and abandoning the Cadillac before calling for a getaway ride. Security footage from houses nearby allegedly showed Dixon get picked up by a black Sedan.

Dixon ended up at the Morning Glory Motel in Bellingham hours later. Witnesses called police to report Dixon allegedly had been bragging about shooting people and stealing their car.

Security footage from the hotel parking lot that morning showed Dixon getting into a silver Toyota Rav4, according to court records.

The attack came “without warning or provocation,” the uncle reported to police, as the attacker was his friend. Dixon and the uncle exchanged several text messages and phone calls the night of the attack, the charges say. Dixon had requested to meet up with the uncle.

Records show five phone calls between Dixon’s phone and the uncle’s phone between 12:39 a.m. and 1:15 a.m. on the morning of the attack. In texts. Dixon referred to himself as “Joe” and “Dirty.”

A witness who knows Dixon told police he often went by his street name, “Dirty.”

Kent detectives and SWAT officers learned of Dixon’s whereabouts Monday, over a week after the Circle K shooting.

Members of the Valley SWAT team, based in King County, had been keeping the homicide suspect under surveillance that day at a nearby home, and followed him in an unmarked vehicle as he went into a business in the 17500 block of Highway 9.

As he walked back to his car around 2:40 p.m., officers drove up behind Dixon and ordered him to surrender, the charges say.

Instead, Dixon rammed a bystander’s vehicle, then reversed into the unmarked police vehicle multiple times. The suspect reportedly had two passengers in his car — one of them was a 4-year-old.

Three members of the SWAT team — two from the Kent Police Department, one from the Federal Way Police Department — opened fire, striking Dixon in the lower back.

Dixon was taken to Harborview Medical Center. He was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors asked Friday for Dixon’s bail to be set at a minimum of $5 million.

The Renton man has a previous felony record for 10 convictions including second-degree robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, residential burglary and felony harassment.

An arraignment hearing for Dixon is scheduled for Oct. 13.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen

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