The man accused of killing two gay men he met on Capitol Hill as part of a nationwide murder spree investigators say was driven by extremist beliefs has pleaded guilty to another murder and admitted in court to the Seattle crimes.
Prosecutors say Ali Muhammad Brown was “jihad-inspired” when he murdered 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young and and 27-year-old Ahmed Said in the June 1st, 2014 slayings. The two were shot to death early on a Sunday morning after a night on Capitol Hill. Their bodies were found in the area of 29th and King near the home Anderson-Young shared with his mother.
Brown was arrested weeks later in connection with another murder in New Jersey. His admission to the Seattle slayings came in a guilty plea Tuesday as he faced trial in the East Coast “terror-inspired” murder. Brown also admitted to killing another man in Skyway later in the summer of 2014 before his arrest.
Brown has pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including murder, robbery and terrorism. His charges in the Seattle murders remain pending. He now faces sentencing in New Jersey.
The 2014 murders took the lives of two young men and put the community in the area around 29th and King on edge as police worked out what had happened and worked to locate a suspect. “I believed in this neighborhood, I believed in this community,” Anderson-Young’s mother Falana Young-Wyatt said at a vigil following the murders. “I don’t know if this was a robbery. I don’t know if this was a hate crime because he was gay. But he was proud.”
According to police, a friend told detectives Said and Anderson-Young were meeting up with a third man that Saturday night after partying at R Place but that he had a “bad feeling” about the stranger. The friend told police that at closing time, he, Said and Anderson-Young left the club to meet the man. The friend described the person as seeming “out of place.” Said offered to give the friend who talked to police a ride home but he said he declined the ride because he was “creeped out” by the man.
Another friend who met the group at R Place earlier in the night told police Said spent much of the evening on his phone and that he believed Said was using an app “like Grindr or Jack’d” — “apps on which gay men meet up with other gay men,” the police report noted. This friend told police he also saw the stranger with Said and Anderson-Young that night as they left R Place. That friend identified the suspect Brown out of a police photo montage and was “100 -percent certain” he was the same person he saw with the victims outside the club.
Detectives were also able to retrieve video surveillance from a nearby business showing Brown, Said, and Anderson-Young together. Police said shell casings at the murder scene matched a 9 MM Smith and Wesson semiautomatic pistol purchased by the mother of Brown’s children that she said had gone missing. The two men had been shot execution style, according to police.
The Seattle PI reported that Brown was also tangled up in an FBI investigation into possible terrorist activity a decade prior to the murders.
Prosecutors and police say Brown admitted killing his victims he met on Capitol Hill that night because they were gay and because of his extreme religious beliefs.
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