A 20-year-old active duty soldier was murdered in the early hours of Saturday morning in what was apparently a racially motivated attack. The soldier was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington.
According to a report in the Seattle Times, the soldiers, along with two others, was walking on Pacific Highway Southwest in Lakewood, Pierce County when a vehicle drove past them and allegedly shouted a racist remark at the white soldiers. When one soldier replied with a comment about soldiers being treated with disrespect, the car turned around and pulled up next to them. One of the soldiers told police that five men then got out of the car and confronted them. Some words were exchanged and the five men returned to the car. As they did so, one of the men appeared to bump one of the soldiers, who collapsed to the ground. The car raced away and then it was discovered that the soldier had been stabbed. He died at the scene.
According to a report in the News Tribune, the murdered soldier has been identified as Tevin A. Geike, originally from Charleston, South Carolina. Police spokesman Chris Lawler said “We’re certainly looking at it now as a potential hate crime…it appears to be racially motivated.”
Joint Base Lewis-McCord comprises the Fort Lewis army base and McChord Air Force Base (AFB). It is home to more than 35,000 soldiers and civilian workers. In addition, it supports approximately 125,000 military retirees and over 32,000 family members.
No arrests have yet been made in this apparent racist attack. All the suspects are described as black males in their 20s. The primary suspect was wearing a blue hoodie. The vehicle used by the murderers is described as a midnight-blue sedan – possibly a BMW or Volkswagen Jetta. It has tinted windows, low-profile tires and factory rims. The Police Department requests that anyone with information about the suspects or this vehicle should contact them at 253-798-4721.
Graham J Noble