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August 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Seattle man charged in fatal Leschi shooting in April

King County prosecutors have charged a 25-year-old Seattle man with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Deszaun Smallwood, who was one of three men killed blocks apart and within days of each other in April.

Lorenzo Pratt, a member of the Deuce 8 street gang who goes by the street name “Chosen,” was arrested June 10 by Portland police on an outstanding warrant for second-degree assault for allegedly pointing a gun at another vehicle in an apparent road-rage incident on April 19, court and jail records show. That incident, near 28th Avenue and East Yesler Way, occurred five days before Smallwood, 20, was fatally shot about six blocks south, according to charging papers.

Pratt is accused of fleeing to Oregon following Smallwood’s death on April 24, the papers say.

Booked into the King County Jail on June 13, Pratt is being held in lieu of $2.5 million bail — $1 million on the second-degree assault charge and $1.5 million on the second-degree murder charge, according to jail records.

Pratt’s last known address is in Skyway, on the border with the Rainier Valley, though court records show he may also have been living with his girlfriend in South Park.

“Several witness have¬†relayed serious safety concerns for themselves and others during the investigation of this case. The murder of Deszaun Smallwood is one of three murders within close time and geographic proximity,” the lead homicide detective wrote in charging papers. “Further, this fear has clearly played a part in the lack of cooperation by eyewitnesses to this murder.”

Because of the gang ties in the slaying, there is concern for the safety of witnesses should their names become public, he wrote.

As a result, the detective wrote that three of the witnesses are identified in charging papers as “Witness A,” “Witness B” and “Witness C.”

According to charging documents, Pratt was involved in a fight with another man on April 24 at Flo Ware Park, a small park at South Jackson Street and 28th Avenue South, two blocks from where Smallwood was shot two hours later. Smallwood witnessed the fight in which Pratt was apparently “beat up” by the other man, charging papers say.

After the fight, Pratt drove off and picked his mother up from her job in Tukwila; the two made a couple of stops, buying cigarettes and beer, before returning to Jackson Street in Seattle’s Leschi neighborhood to buy marijuana, according to the charges. Pratt, still accompanied by his mother, then drove to the 500 block of 28th Avenue South, where a group of about 15 young men, including Smallwood, had gathered in front of a house, the papers say.

Pratt and Smallwood engaged in a fist fight, and at some point, Smallwood lifted his shirt to show that he didn’t have a weapon tucked into his waistband, according to the charges.

Witnesses later told detectives it looked like Smallwood got the upper hand and was winning the fight, the papers say. Pratt then disengaged from the fight and moved to a parked car, where another man¬†described in charging documents as “Suspect 2” handed Pratt a handgun, say charging papers.

Pratt is accused of firing six shots from a .44-caliber revolver, striking Smallwood several times, the charges say. Despite witness and firefighter efforts to save him, Smallwood died in the street, according to the charges.

Around 5:30 a.m. on April 19, five days before Smallwood was killed, 24-year-old Kevin Brown died from a gunshot wound to his torso in the 2200 block of East Union Street in Seattle’s Central District, according to Seattle police. Then on April 25, Ronnie Brown, 36, was fatally shot near 28th Avenue South and South Charles Street, two blocks south of where Smallwood was killed the day before. Suspects have not been arrested in connection with those shootings.

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


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