LCpl. George Gabriel murder: U.S. Marine home for birthday caught in crossfire of deadly gang war
KILLER WANTED IN FEDERAL WAY —
It was almost one year ago that a U.S. Marine home on break to celebrate his birthday was caught in the crossfire of a gang war in Federal Way.
Detectives are certain the killer wasn`t alone that night and someone knows who did it.
“He was the light of the house, everywhere we’d go we say that,” says Rosa Reyes, a cousin of Lance Corporal George Gabriel.
He was the pride of his family, a U.S. Marine who quickly advanced up the ranks. He was also a newlywed, married just three weeks to a fellow Marine.
They were both home on leave to celebrate his 22nd birthday. LCpl Gabriel and his wife spent the evening celebrating. When they returned home and were waiting for a parking space around 1am on May 13th -- shots rang out. "The shots were fired toward the west where he was waiting for a stall,” says Federal Way Det. Richard Kim.
The couple had unknowingly driven into the middle of a gang war.
Detective Kim says, “It started off as a drive-by shooting. There was an argument that stemmed between two gangs and what happened was a drive-by occurred after the argument and one fraction of the gang assumed that the other planned the drive-by and therefore spilled to Federal Way.”
Police say those gangs started their rampage on May 7th with another drive-by shooting in Federal Way that left one person dead. Retaliation led to a second drive-by in Des Moines, killing another man. The very next night George was shot in his car. He was able to drive away from the gunfire and stop near the main road.
Reyes lived at the apartment complex at the time. It's a night she can never forget. “We were sleeping, the mother heard a shooting right outside the house. I didn’t hear anything but her husband knocked on my door. ‘Unbelievable,’ he said. 'George Gabriel has been killed,'” Reyes recalls.
Police arrested Bernard Bellerouche in connection with one of the shootings but are still looking for the person who pulled the trigger and killed LCpl. Gabriel. “At this point we do have evidence, and we’re just waiting to link them with the individuals," says Det. Kim.
Reyes adds, “It’s not fair for somebody that was serving the country, somebody that the family was so proud of.”
Rosa knows that someone has the information they need, she just wants them to make a call and give police a name. “Whoever did it, if you know who did it don’t let this person hurt again. This hurts.”
LCpl. Gabriel's family and Crime Stoppers is offering a $6,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of his killer.
If you have any information at all you think can help solve this case and bring a U.S. Marine's murderer to justice, call an anonymous tip into:
CRIME STOPPERS: 1-800-222-TIPS
You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.
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