TACOMA — A 29-year-old man was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery and eluding police for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend in South Hill and killing a JBLM soldier who tried to intervene.
The defendant, Chase Devyver, pleaded not guilty in Pierce County Superior Court Tuesday and was ordered held in the King County Jail on $2 million bail.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord identified the fallen soldier as Army Sgt. 1st class Shawn Woods, 38, of Cedar Hill, Tenn. He was a member of Troop A, 8th Squadron, 1st Calvary Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the attack happened round 4:30 a.m. Sunday on the 9800 block of 185th Street East.
Court documents said two couples had gone out drinking the night before and had returned to the residence in South Hill. Woods and his friend went into the residence while Devyver and his girlfriend were sitting in a parked car in front of a residence and arguing about their relationship.
When the victim exited the vehicle and walked toward the house, the defendant followed and stabbed her from behind, the prosecutor’s office said. The victim’s screams woke up Woods, who was sleeping in another room. He intervened and the defendant fatally stabbed Woods in the chest, the office said. The defendant then retrieved a gun from another room and demanded his girlfriend’s debit/credit card. He hit her in the head with the gun, took her keys, and stole her car, the office said.
Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies spotted the vehicle on 176th Street East. The defendant led police on a pursuit that reached speeds in excess of 90 mph toward Canyon Road. The defendant lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a power pole. After he climbed out of the vehicle, he told deputies to shoot him. He was tased and arrested.
The woman was taken to the hospital with a severe shoulder laceration, court documents said. She survived the attack.
“[Sgt. 1st class] Shawn Woods was a model [non-commissioned officer], leader, husband, father and friend to all of the [Troop A] Family. Woods left a lasting impression on anyone he met, and he was a caring NCO whose soldiers always looked up to him for advice and leadership,” said 1st Lt. Charles Rugg, the executive officer of Troop A, 8-1 Cav. “Woods always lived the Army values and placed the needs of others above his own; he will be truly missed.”