Seattle Police announced they have arrested a suspect in the weekend fatal stabbing of 25-year-old Rayshauna Webber on Capitol Hill.
“Detectives arrested a 50-year-old man Wednesday afternoon in the city of Tacoma in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 25-year-old woman on Capitol Hill,” Seattle Police said Wednesday.
Police say detectives are now interviewing the suspect and have not publicly identified the man. SPD says he will be booked him into King County Jail for investigation of murder.
UPDATE 8:57 PM: Seattle Police said Wednesday night the murder of Webber apparently came in a dispute over a spurned offer to light a cigarette. Deputy Chief Marc Garth-Green provided new details from the case in a Wednesday night media conference and identified the man taken into custody for the murder.
“Due to outstanding work with patrol officers on scene that evening, diligent work with our homicide detectives and our real time crime center detectives, in conjunction with help from local businesses in the area, we were able to identify, locate, and, today, with the assistance of the Tacoma Police Department, we were able to arrest 50-year-old David Nichols for the murder of Rayshauna Webber,” Garth-Green said.
Nichols has been booked into King County Jail for investigation of murder and assault. Bail was denied according to jail records. Police say he also stabbed another woman in Webber’s group during the incident but the woman suffered only a minor injury to her chest. He has not yet been charged in the crimes.
Webber was stabbed and found by police bleeding on the sidewalk at Pine and Nagle just before 3 AM Sunday morning. Despite the CPR by officers and Seattle Fire, she was later pronounced dead at Harborview.
Wednesday night, Garth-Green said a medical student who happened to be at the scene helped keep Webber alive with CPR until first responders arrived at the scene.
According to the Deputy Chief, thanks to video from area businesses and information from witnesses, detectives have pieced together details of an altercation and a fight that erupted after the suspect offered a cigarette lighter and was spurned. Garth-Green described the fight as a “free for all” that resulted in two stabbings and the suspect fleeing the scene.
“We’re still working through those portions of the investigation,” Garth-Green said about any evidence of a possible bias crime in the attack by the white suspect on the black victim.
Police say Nichols was arrested in Tacoma but is not a resident of the city. It is not yet known why he was on Capitol Hill that night but police say witnesses and video place him in the area prior to the stabbing. Police also believe Nichols was intoxicated at the time of the attack, Garth-Green said.
Police, meanwhile, are still hoping for more assistance in the investigation from the public from anybody who saw the altercation or recorded video. Even if witnesses have already talked to police, Garth-Green said any video from the night could be useful to detectives. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Seattle Police tip line at (206) 233-5000.
UPDATE 7/18/19 9:31: A fundraiser has been set up to help pay for Webber’s funeral expenses.
While Monday, SPD said that detectives had “no useful description” of a suspect, police were searching for a suspect reported leaving the scene of the stabbing and were working with a very specific physical description, according to dispatch radio reports. The suspect was described as a white male in his 50s, around 5’8″ to 6′ tall, with a receding hairline and long, black hair in the back, and wearing a burgundy or red v-neck shirt, and jeans at the time of the stabbing.
A memorial to Webber left by friends and family has grown on the southwest edge of Cal Anderson Park.
With a possible break in the most recent case, another 2018 homicide Nagle Place remains publicly unsolved after 21-year-old Hakeem Salahud-din was gunned down near the park’s basketball court in March.
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