WHITE CENTER, Wash. — Surveillance video shows 26-year-old double-murder suspect Merle ‘Chucky’ Buchanan inside the Taradise Café in White Center having a drink, talking on his cellphone and even smiling at someone moments before King County sheriff’s detectives say he killed Jose Garcia and Paul Tapia in the parking lot on January 6.
Detectives don’t have a motive.
“That’s the biggest question. Why? Why is he dead? My son got shot in the head, through his right eye,” said Vickie Glatt.
Tapia, who everyone called ‘Pablo’, was her oldest.
"This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me in my life, to bury my child,” said Glatt.
Garcia died at the scene. Tapia was rushed to Harborview Medical Center.
"The night that we had to take him off life support, I came home. I sat on the bed and I just said I'm gonna lose it Lord. I need some help. I need some help and he did, I swear he just laid his hand on my heart and he comforted me,” said Glatt.
Gone was the son she talked to six or seven times a day. A caring father of two, a hero to his son and daughter.
His mom says Tapia was an avid Broncos fan who loved barbecuing and who always had a kind word for strangers, especially the homeless. "One time I heard him tell this person, I don't have any money but I do have some time to share,” said Glatt.
Tapia and Garcia worked at Cascadia Metals. Their families say they were at the Taradise Café for a co-worker’s party.
"I think I am still just in a state of shock of it all,” said Garcia’s daughter, Angela Salazar-Garcia. He was a father to four with two granddaughters and one on the way. "This guy needs to be put behind bars for the rest of his life,” said Salazar-Garcia.
Deputies say ‘Chucky’ frequents Renton, Seattle and Burien and has been seen riding the bus.
"It would just be nice to know. What happened? Why he did this and if he has any remorse. It would be nice to know if he has any remorse because I feel bad for his people. You know, because in a way they've lost their person, too, because he's off hiding and he's gonna eventually be put in jail,” said Glatt.
‘Chucky’ has been on the run for a month and deputies think his friends or family may be helping him hide.
“I understand somebody loves him and wants to take care of him and help him but he did something bad, you know. He took two lives and you need to pay for that,” said Glatt.
Buchanan is 5-foot9 and 195 pounds.
In addition to the murder warrants, he also has a Felony Domestic Violence No Contact Order Warrant. He should be considered armed and dangerous.
Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to Buchanan's arrest. If you can tell deputies where to find him, submit an anonymous tip by using the P3 Tips App on your phone or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS(8477). You can also submit the info http://www.P3Tips.com. It is guaranteed to be anonymous.