A 20-year-old man was arrested today in connection with the Oct. 31, 2008, slaying of Quincy Coleman outside Garfield High School, according to Seattle police.
The suspect was arrested just after walking out of the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, where he had completed a one-year sentence for unlawful possession of an AK-47 and assaulting an officer, police said.
“He was scheduled for release and we were pretty much waiting for him at the front door,” said police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb. “We’re very grateful his only taste of freedom was a couple breaths of fresh air.”
Coleman, 15, was shot several times around 9:30 p.m. on the steps behind Garfield High, near 25th Avenue and East Jefferson Street. Another boy, also 15, was wounded in the shooting.
Coleman was one of eight young people killed in the area between January and November 2008, and their deaths were attributed to a feud between gangs in the Central Area and Seattle’s south end. Coleman, who had a long criminal history of residential burglaries, car prowls and drug violations, was a member of a Central Area gang, while the suspected killer was a member of a gang in the Rainier Valley.
The deaths led to the creation of the city’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.
According to a post on the Seattle PD’s Blotter, the suspect told several people that he had killed Coleman in revenge over the death of a friend, Pierre Lapointe, who was fatally shot in August 2008. Coleman was a member of a Central District gang, while the suspect and LaPointe were members of a South Seattle gang, police said.
The suspect also reportedly told friends he had ditched the guns at Mount Baker Beach Park. Police divers later found four guns in the lake near the park, one of which matched the type of weapon used to kill Coleman, police said.
Police also learned the suspect had visited the site of the shooting, where he stopped to urinate on a memorial for Coleman.
The suspect is being held at the King County Jail for investigation of homicide.