(UPDATE 2:25 pm Monday, October 7: Lakewood Police say they no longer believe stabbing was motivated by race: Click here for more)
Police in a small western Washington city say they are searching for five suspects in the fatal stabbing of a 20-year-old soldier from South Carolina.
Reuters reports the Lakewood Police Department believes the killing of Army Specialist Tevin Geike early Saturday morning may have been racially motivated. Lakewood is located about 40 miles south of Seattle.Lakewood Police say Geike was walking with two fellow soldiers when a car drove past them and its occupants yelled “something about being white,” according to witness statements.
One of the soldiers – all of whom were white and stationed at the nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord – became angry about those in the car “treating combat soldiers with disrespect,” the police statement said. The police release says the car then turned around and came to a stop.Five black men in their mid-20s got out and confronted the soldiers.
Eventually the car’s driver called his friends off upon learning that the soldiers were combat veterans, the police statement said.As the suspects were returning to the car, one of them “appeared to bump into the victim,” and Geike fell to the ground as the car sped away, the report said. It said Geike’s friends then realized he had been stabbed and was bleeding profusely.
Emergency medical workers came and treated him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple stab wounds.
Geike’s Facebook page says that he joined the Army in 2010 shortly after graduating from Stall High School in North Charleston.