Police: Soldier Fatally Stabbed; May Be Hate Crime

KOMO News, October 5, 2013

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier was stabbed to death in a parking lot at the 12500 block of Pacific Highway Southwest around 2:30 a.m., officials say.

20-year-old Tevin Geike was walking with two other white soldiers along Pacific Highway SW when a group of black men drove by and shouted a racial comment toward the soldiers, the Lakewood Police Department said.

Tevin Geike

Tevin Geike

“One of the soldiers yelled back something about the suspects treating combat soldiers with disrespect,” Lt. Chris Lawler said.

The car turned around and the men confronted the soldiers, according to reports. As the verbal confrontation ensued, the driver of the vehicle realized the men were actually combat veterans and called his friends off. While the men headed back to their vehicle, one of the suspects appeared to have bumped into Geike, witnesses say.

The soldiers saw Geike fall to the ground as the car sped away. He was bleeding profusely from stab wounds and died at the scene.

“We came down here, and he was already dead in my brother’s arms,” said Glenn Zimmerman, a friend of Geike.

Friends say there was a party at the Biltmore Motel that evening, and Geike was gathering with family and friends after being discharged from the military. Zimmerman said Geike’s contract was up, and he was celebrating serving his country.

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The initial remark that started the encounter seemed derogatory in nature, said Lakewood police Lt. Chris Lawler. He said it was too early to say that race was the motivating factor, but investigators were exploring whether the killing should be classified as a hate crime.

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All five suspects are black men in their 20s, police say. {snip}

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