TACOMA, WA (CBS Seattle/AP) — A gang member has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a man last weekend at a Tacoma warehouse party.
Tacoma’s News Tribune reports that this is the second shooting to occur within eight months at a party hosted by the Global Grinders motorcycle club. Back in August, a high school student who volunteered his time was killed at a similar party. CBS Seattle learned that a wrongful-death suit was filed in that case by the victim’s mother.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says 35-year-old Devennice Gaines was arraigned Thursday and is being held without bail. He also has been charged with one count of unlawful gun possession.
Gaines faces the possibility of life in prison under Washington’s “three-strikes” law. He has previously been convicted of manslaughter, second-degree assault, and first-degree attempted robbery.
Forty-year-old Bruce Price was shot early Sunday morning outside a warehouse in downtown Tacoma. According to witnesses, Gaines got in a physical altercation with a man in a wheelchair during a motorcycle gang party. The prosecutor says witnesses heard Price criticize Gaines for fighting with the man in a wheelchair and that’s when Gaines pulled out his gun.
According to prosecutors, Gaines took off after shooting Price, but witnesses were able to identify him as the shooter.
Lindquist says Gaines is allegedly affiliated with the Blood street gang from Seattle. He has prior convictions for manslaughter, robbery, assault, drug and firearm offenses. Price was allegedly affiliated with a rival gang, the Hilltop Crips.
Tacoma’s News Tribune reported that earlier in the week Gaines was also charged with failure to register as a sex offender in King County. He was convicted in 1991, when he was 14, of indecent liberties after he physically and sexually assaulted a girl in an empty classroom at their junior high.
“Our Gang Unit in the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office continues to vigorously prosecute gang-related crimes,” Lindquist said in a press release when he announced the charges.
He added, “Gang violence is down in Pierce County, but there is still work to do.”
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