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Police: Noll killing suspect is expert gun enthusiast who spent weeks concealing silver Z4

Bowman, right, will be held without bail until Tuesday’s charging deadline following a judge’s ruling Saturday (Image: CHS)

Dinh Bowman appeared in a King County Jail courtroom Saturday, his first appearance in front of a judge following his arrest Friday for investigation of the murder of Capitol Hill wine steward Yancy Noll.

Judge Kara Murphy agreed with a request for no bail in the hearing as the prosecutor outlined evidence police detectives say they have already collected including proof of the “sophistication” of Bowman’s effort to repair and conceal his Z4 convertible BMW and an online video reportedly showing Bowman progressing rapidly through a target course while firing one-handedly firing a .45 caliber handgun in a shooting competition.

King County Prosecutor deputy attorney Scott O’Toole said his office will decide by Tuesday whether to try the prosecution as a first-degree murder case or as a second-degree road rage murder case.


Noll, 43, was gunned down the night of August 31st just blocks from his apartment in what police have said has all the earmarks of a road rage murder. The Friday morning raid at a home only a few blocks from the intersection where Noll was killed came after a little more than a week of surveillance of the home by police, the prosecutor said.

According to police, an anonymous tip from a female caller alerted them to Bowman on September 12th. At that time, police began watching the home. Details of the behavior the detectives recorded are included in the probable cause statement, below. Police say that during the weeks between the shooting and the raid, Bowman kept a low profile while completing a series of repairs to the Z4 including having window glass repaired in Portland, Oregon and buying a new set of tires in Lynwood with his wife. The Z4 no longer appeared parked in front of the house as neighbors said it had prior to the shooting. Police said they found the car’s old tires and a hidden pistol clip for a 9mm handgun in the bathroom of a SoDo building used by Bowman’s company, Vague Industries. That company, by the way, was previously incorporated at an E Republican address when Bowman lived on Capitol Hill for a period before 2010. The prosecutor said police have also found that Bowman, who had a concealed weapon permit for a handgun, made his own bullets and kept a gun room in his home filled with weaponry.

According to police, a bullet from a 9mm handgun killed Noll. The prosecutor said that there is no evidence at this time connecting Bowman to Noll prior to the moments before the August 31st shooting. At this point, a murder weapon has not been found.

During the hearing, Judge Kara Murphy chastised the the 29-year-old Bowman for not taking the hearing seriously enough, saying he looked amused at times during the proceedings. Bowman’s defense represented by the office of John Henry Browne apologized and assured the judge that he did take the situation seriously and that Bowman is “very easily overwhelmed.” The Seattle Times reports that Bowman was a onetime child prodigy with “anger management” issues. The Times also has a chilling anecdote in its report on Saturday’s bail hearing regarding a post-it note found on the Bowmans’ refrigerator.

Here is the video the King County Prosecutor says police found showing Bowman at a 2011 shooting competition.

The King County Prosecutor has provided the “superform” document detailing Bowman’s arrest and information from interviews with witnesses, neighbors and his wife. Here is the probable cause statement from the document justifying his arrest and incarceration: 

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oiseau
8 years ago

but, what a shitty person.

Also, did you know that Japan requires all gun owners to re-register every three years and they outlaw handguns? Did you know that in the last reported year they only had 21 gun deaths.? That’s less than the city of Seattle this year, and far less than the 9,000 US handgun murders from the same year as the Japan study (2010, I think).

Our laws are not strict enough to keep tools of death from crazy people and generally just horrible human beings. It’s sickening.

Robert Ketcherside
8 years ago

What happened to federal time for any gun violence in Seattle?

vinoverite.com
8 years ago

Found ourselves holding our breath reading this story. It has been so painful, difficult, even outrightly frustrating waiting for something to come through. Having said that, we’re trying to reserve judgment until more facts come out. We are very much hoping this is a step towards justice and some measure of resolution for Yancy’s family and this community who loved him so much.

We always felt Yancy was so kind and careful in judging any situation; he was fair, polite. So the way we’re thinking about this latest break is to honor him in being careful not to assume anything.

The support and gatherings that have happened so far in Yancy’s memory have been exceptional; we hope for a continuation of such support for each other as the story– whatever it ends up being– moves forward.

macker
8 years ago

You guys are awesome. From teh ravenna blog, Fellow Seattle Times Newspartner, Capitol Hill Seattle (CHS), was there in the courtroom today:

We have such a good commuity, and I think many of us call in tips to CHS. I guess our issues are not main stream news enough, but glad to see how this is progressing and you guys keeping on top of stuff…

macker

informed observer
8 years ago

There wouldn’t be federal jurisdiction over this murder (no federal “hook” like its being committed in the course of drug trafficking), so the penalties for this crime will be much more severe in King County Superior Court. The reverse can be true with lower-level gun crimes (e.g. felon in possession of a firearm), which is why federalizing those makes sense.

gerwitz
8 years ago

Can someone familiar with the law around this explain to me why “road rage” would make this a second degree murder?

A neighbor
8 years ago

It was not a planned murder, and he did not lay in wait to commit this horrible, horrible crime which explains the charge.

J
J
8 years ago

I agree. Makes no sense to have such ridiculous laws that were written in a time when we were all practically cavemen (and women) but…

It really makes me happy they caught this scumbag! May the family and friends of Yancy find peace and justice.

Rob
Rob
8 years ago

His ass will be in jail a long time…just because it’s second degree doesn’t mean he gets soft treatment. Looking at 15+ years I’m sure…

Unfortunately, his wife is now probably going to join him. She clearly knew about it, knew about the repairs to the car, knew he had broken the window shooting at someone and even left him a note congratulating him on having such great aim in blowing a random stranger’s head off.

Alfred
8 years ago

Im very proud of our police department for capturing this alleged criminal.

If proven guilty, he deserves the harshest of sentences with no chance of parol.

My thoughts go out to the victim in this crime.

JenV
8 years ago

To be fair, that post-it could have been there since before the murder. Also, if he had a volatile personality and a temper it’s entirely possible he was abusive and she was too scared to report him. Not saying she should be excused for not reporting it, but we don’t know all the circumstances here.

min
min
8 years ago

I think you’re really jumping to conclusions about the wife. If he’s such a shooting enthusiast, I think the note was more likely related to some target shooting or something. I seriously doubt it was about this shooting…it makes no sense that it would be. You don’t leave a note like that when there are Crimestoppers posters around town about the incident. It’s creepy, but non-related. She is probably one of the most shocked right now.

Also, thanks CHS for all this detail! Really great.

Really wondering what happened to this guy…you don’t just shoot someone like he did and not have some kind of history. Maybe he wasn’t arrested, but this kind of shooting doesn’t come out of nowhere.

Glad he was caught, terrible it took a death for his problem to be noticed.

CarnacTheMagnificent
8 years ago

I wonder if the wife was the one who gave the anonymous tip that turned him in…

hendrixfan
8 years ago

Great work by everyone involved esp the detectives and witnesses. Such a tragic story, scares the daylights out of me to know such armed individuals exist. Wonder what triggered the event?

VoiceofReason
8 years ago

Japan and the UK may have less gun related homicides, but people will find ways to kill or hurt other people. Just read this BBC article on Gun and Knife Crime in the UK. Here’s in excerpt. Plus the majority of gun crime in the US is gang related, and who cares if a gang member kills another gang member!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6960431.stm

“In fact, the most common weapon used in a violent crime in England and Wales is not a gun – but a knife.There are four times more knife-related killings as firearms-related killings.The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King’s College London recently conducted some deeper analysis of the available Home Office’s statistics.It concluded that between 22,000 and 57,900 young people could have been victims of knife crime in 2004.”

JimS.
8 years ago

VoiceofReason, that proves nothing. Of COURSE there are 4 times as many knife-related killings than gun killings– when it’s much harder to get a gun, what would you expect? That doesn’t mean the homicide rate (with knives) comes anywhere near the rate (including guns) in the US. These figures don’t shed any light on the comparison, but it doesn’t take a genius to observe it’s a helluva lot easier to survive an encounter with someone with a knife (by running away, for example?) than if he/she has a gun.

JimS.
8 years ago

That thought crossed my mind too. It would explain why the note might have (still) been on the fridge. Nobody would be so stupid to write a note like that AFTER the shooting if she knew he did it.

Th3rdplace
8 years ago

Irrelevant reasoning, VoiceofReason:
The crime in question would not have happened, had the perpetrator been a knife enthusiast.

Namenlos
8 years ago

Oiseau, did it occur to you that there a puh-len-ty of other ways to kill somebody besides guns??? Restricting access to psychotropic drugs has sure worked out well in stopping people from getting access to them! Guns are out there whether you like it or not. Restricting them will not reduce crimes like this, it will only ensure that violent thugs have a monopoly on firepower.

I really am tired of the legal showing mercy to road rage killers. I say put em down so they can never kill anyone ever again over something as trivial as a traffic dispute.

Ernest Tee Bass
8 years ago

With a gun, it’s easy to shoot someone in the car next to you. For what it’s worth, stabbings are usually much more personal attacks than shootings. Rarely does someone stab more than one person to death at a time. Multiple people are shot to death daily in the U.S.

lifeguard
8 years ago

Pot is classified as a dangerous drug but the mentaly ill get permits to carry concealed semi-automatic pistols.

My condolences go out to Yancy’s loved ones.

lifeguard
8 years ago

Hindering an investigation / destroying evidence is a crime in and of itself.

We may see more charges related to this case.

I suspect a friend or relative made the tip, but not his wife.

JimS.
8 years ago

“Guns are out there whether you like it or not. Restricting them will not reduce crimes like this…”

That’s about the silliest statement I’ve heard today. What, would he have lept from his car, dashed over and stabbed the guy to death, then dashed back to his car to speed away?

Severely restricting access to guns would not stop all gun killings, but it most certainly would cut down on them. You simply cannot kill as quickly and easily with a knife, especially someone bigger than you, as you can with a gun.

EJ
EJ
8 years ago

I have no doubt that if Yancy had not been shot then eventually someone else would have been shot by this guy. In a way, his life wrongly taken from him saved someone else’s maybe yours or mine.

WTF?
8 years ago

I had a friend back in college who was murdered in a diner full of people by some punk as part of a gang initiation. They caught the kid, and since it was Iowa (where there is no death penalty) he will spend life in jail. The thought of that gives me a grim satisfaction, a much better feeling than seeing him executed would have. I hope he lives a long, long time, with plenty of empty years to contemplate the mess he made of his life, and I hope his every day is filled with bitter regret.

Not that it matters now, but I wonder what Yancy did to attract his attention. Did he somehow “disrespect” him? (a stupid phenomena I will never understand about today’s youth) or was it just totally random?

VoiceofReason
8 years ago

JimS… No shit Sherlock. I made the comparison because “oiseau” seems to think banning handguns is going to stop the killings in this country.
The killer could have easily rammed this guy at high speed with his car and killed him or followed the guy home and stabbed him to death.

JimS.
8 years ago

Yeah, no kidding. And both of those would be more difficult than shooting him. Shooting somebody is unquestionably the easiest way to kill somebody, and severely restricting guns WOULD reduce killings by making someone have to try a more difficult method.

fp
fp
8 years ago

Knowing Yancy, I can only imagine that a friendly wave at Dinh was misconstrued. Perhaps, unknowingly, it was a gang sign.

calhoun
8 years ago

VoiceOfReason: Your comments here are so UN-reasonable, but I have to agree with you that most of us are not too distressed when a gang member kills another gang member…when they choose to participate in that “lifestyle,” they are choosing to lead a very dangerous life.

However, sometimes innocent bystanders are caught in the crossfire and killed, as in the recent incident in the CD….sorry, I don’t remember the name of the bystander, who was simply driving by as shots were fired.

Ernest Tee Bass
8 years ago

I seriously doubt this was gang related. The suspect has a BS in electrical engineering from UW, was driving a $50,000+ valued car and had a concealed weapons permit. I read some of the suspect’s blog and although the writer seems intelligent, I suspect there is possibly some mental issues going on. I’m biased but I’ll just point out the 800 pound gorilla in the room. The suspect was driving a high-performance BMW (Specially engineered for young, male douchebags addicted to adrenaline and their own egos). The suspect had just had a portion of the front-end painted (along with the passenger window and new tires) so I’m guessing that after the shooting the suspect was only interested in fixing damage sustained from this incident. Painting the front-end after the shooting would lead me to believe that he and Yancy had a fender bender.

On another note: What’s the difference between BMW and porcupines?

Answer: With porcupines, the pricks are on the outside.

Ernest Tee Bass
8 years ago

Justin Ferrari.

Jason
8 years ago

Kill the f loser!

Fritz
8 years ago

But there is also a Washington statute that if the firearm is discharged from a vehicle that was used to transport the shooter to the place where the murder occurred, it can be prosecuted as a death penalty case. Don’t know why that couldn’t possibly fit these facts . . . the shooter was both driving and also fired the fatal shot from the vehicle that transported him to where he killed the victim. OTOH, without evidence to prove premeditation beyond a reasonable doubt, the charge could probably go no higher than 2nd degree murder.

sdb
sdb
8 years ago

for all you know, his wife could have been the one that called in the tip in the first place. you have no idea what was going on in that house.

today'syouth
8 years ago

The “today’s youth” comment is nothing new and something that will always persist. People weren’t saints or sinners 20 years ago any more then than they are today. Angry people do stupid and sometimes violent things in reaction to trivial matters, no need to group an entire age group or generation with a gang member and gun-toting, Z4 driving madman.

WTF
WTF
8 years ago

I disagree. While it’s always been true that stupid people do stupid things when angry, in my day, it was usually fights, not guns, that was the violence of choice. Plus, there is this cartoonish culture of “respect” and male bravado/swagger that is much more pronounced these days.

This psychotiic douchebag is an extreme example, but it seems much more prevalent these days.

JoMama
8 years ago

Thank the NRA for our gun laws. Those assholes have so much money invested in keeping guns laws the way they are – minimal. Anyone who compares lives lost with knives vs guns is an idiot. Guns are for pussies.

lifeguard
8 years ago

” including having window glass repaired in Portland, Oregon and buying a new set of tires in Lynwood with his wife”

This is the first report of SPD investigation activities I have read and it looks like they worked hard to build a strong case. Good work Seattle PD detectives!