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February 7, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Suspect, victim in fatal Seattle shooting had earlier run-in

The man accused of fatally shooting a neighbor in their downtown Seattle apartment building yesterday had previously claimed the victim once fired a gunshot at him. However, that claim could never be verified, so charges in the alleged shooting were eventually dropped, according to King County prosecutors.

The man accused of yesterday’s shooting, Willie Larry Jones, 37, was booked on investigation of homicide in connection with the death of Joseph “Karat” Parker, 34. A judge today found probable cause to hold Jones in lieu of $1 million bail.

Jones told investigators that he went to Parker’s apartment at The Glen Hotel, 1413 Third Ave., around 9 a.m. Thursday “and had words with him,” according to a Seattle police report included in an affidavit of probable cause. Jones told investigators that Parker had a gun on him that morning, the report said.

About 45 minutes later, Parker went to Jones’ apartment and knocked on the door, police said.

“Jones reported that he opened the door and shot Parker,” Detective Donna Stangeland wrote in her report. “After shooting the victim, Jones said he went into the hallway and told other residents that he shot the victim.”

When interviewed by police, Jones said that he had bought the gun as protection from Parker, according to the report.

Jones had claimed that Parker shot into his third-floor window last fall. Parker was arrested for investigation of assault, but the charges were dropped last month and he was released from the King County Jail, according to jail records.

In the earlier shooting, Parker had been charged with second-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm. According to charges, Parker showed up at Jones’ apartment on Nov. 23 claiming to be upset after getting into an argument with a friend.

Jones shut the door on him and soon after he saw Parker on the street aiming a gun at his window.

Witnesses reported hearing a gunshot, but police said they couldn’t find any evidence there had been a shooting.

Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said charges were dismissed “because we could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Parker had been booked into jail 17 times since 1998, with convictions for drug possession, obstruction, malicious mischief, assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Dernbach wrote in the November charges.

Jones has no known felony history.

Detective Stangeland, in the report she wrote this week, said Jones told her he “had been trying to work things out with Parker, but that he was still concerned for his safety.”

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: homicide, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, shooting


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