Seattle Police are investigating the death of two of two men in their 20s in an early morning shooting in the Central District.
Police and Seattle Fire units rushed to 29th Ave S and S King just south of Jackson early Sunday morning around 2:28 AM. Two male victims with gunshot wounds were found in the street following 911 callers reporting gunfire near the location. Both died of their injuries at the scene as medics responded.
UPDATE: SPD has identified a suspect in the murders as Matalepuna Malu, pictured here in a photo provided by police.
UPDATE x2 6/1/14 5:27 PM: SPD reports that the suspect has been taken into custody after turning himself in.
UPDATE x3 6/2/14: Police believe the shooting of the two men, ages 23 and 27, was not gang-related. “Neither of the victims had a criminal history and neither man is suspected of any wrongdoing,” an SPD statement reads. “Investigators continue to follow leads and gather more information in this case, and ask that anyone with information please call (206) 233-5000.”
Police say the suspect Malu is a 26-year-old Samoan male, 5′ 11″, 200 pounds with dark hair. According to court records, he was convicted for illegal possession of a firearm in 2007 after being barred from owning a gun following a 2006 burglary conviction in Snohomish County. In 2011, he was again convicted for illegal possession of a firearm and sentenced to 30 months in prison. “According to records in the case Malu is linked to a gang distributing oxycontin in the Everett area,” the Justice Department said in a statement following the 2011 conviction. “The gang, called the Waco Boys, repeatedly sold drugs to undercover agents and people working with law enforcement between March 2009 and February 2010.”
Malu is currently in the midst of a trial on another felony charge in Snohomish County.
In 2010, he was arrested in connection with an Everett murder but was not charged in the case.
Though they were not carrying identification, police have identified the victims who were found murdered. Their names have not yet been released publicly.
Witnesses reported seeing a black or silver vehicle fleeing the area following the gunfire. King County Sheriff’s Guardian One assisted in the search for the vehicle which was last seen headed south on 29th.
Shell casings were found scattered on the ground at 29th and King. The area remained closed through Sunday morning as investigators collected evidence.
Meanwhile, East Precinct police also responded to a reported stabbing at Pike and Belmont around 4:45 AM. A man called 911 to report he had been “cut” but according to Seattle Fire radio dispatches, his injuries were not life threatening. We’ll update when we learn more.