SEATTLE — A man accused of shooting to death two men in Seattle on June 1 and a man in New Jersey later that month was charged Wednesday with gunning down a 30-year-old in the Skyway area in April — all, he allegedly told police, as “vengeance” for U.S. actions in the Mideast.
Ali Muhammad Brown, 40, is quoted in charging documents as saying that he they were “just kills” and that he was “just doing my small part” as a self-styled jihadist.
He was charged Wednesday with aggravated first-degree murder by the King County Prosecutor’s Office for the slaying of Leroy Henderson, 30 in the unincorporated King County area of Skyway on the night of April 27.
Henderson had been shot 10 times in the back as he was walking home.
Brown had earlier been charged with aggravated first-degree murder for the slayings of Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle’s Leschi neighborhood on June 1. He is also accused of killing a man, Brendan Tevlin, in the Newark, N.J., area on June 25, after he had fled Seattle.
All four were killed with a 9mm handgun.
In court documents, King County sheriff’s detectives said surveillance video in Skyway showing an SUV that Brown was using at the time and 9mm cartridge casings found at Henderson’s slaying led them to Brown.
Police said that the SUV with lights on was seen on video passing Henderson as he walked down the street. It then turned around and, with lights off, slowly approached behind him. Moments later, Henderson was shot 10 times in the back. The men did not know each other, police said.
In court documents, police said Brown confessed to all four murders.
“The one in King County on the 28th, the two in Seattle on June 1st, and the one in West Orange (N.J.) on June 25th?” a detective asked.
“All of it,” Brown allegedly replied.
“Those 4 murders that we’re talking about were all done for vengeance for the actions of the United States in the Middle East?” the detective asked.
“Yes,” Brown allegedly replied.
“Are you taking responsibility for that?” the detective asked.
“Just doing my small part,” Brown allegedly replied.
In a post-Miranda statement to detectives in Essex County, N.J., for Tevlin’s slaying there, Brown allegedly described Tevlin as a “just kill,” describing a “just kill” as a target that was an adult male, not a woman, child or elderly person.
“My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day,” he reportedly said. “Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, all these places where innocent lives are being taken every single day … All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.”
Late Wednesday, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued a statement that read, in part:
“Ali Muhammad Brown took the lives of three members of our community, and, with these charges, he will face justice.
“The charging documents reveal disturbing details about Brown’s motive for committing these murders, which appears to have based on anti-American sentiment and an extreme interpretation of the Muslim faith. While Brown invoked his faith, we must be clear that Brown’s views and his actions do not reflect the values of Muslims.
“In this moment of grief, we, as one community, across all faiths and religions races and ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations, can and must renew our resolve to stand firm against violence and hatred of all kinds.”