Tacoma police: Drive-by victim may have been shot for wearing gang colors
TACOMA – A Pierce County mother grieves for her only son who was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting last week.
The suspected shooter made his first appearance in court on Friday afternoon.
Prosecutors said 23-year-old Alexander Kitt is the gunman and he may have been trying to retaliate for an earlier shooting, but investigators say the victim may have been shot by mistake.
“I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how I’m going to go on without him,” said Brandon’s mother, Elladell Morris. “He took care of me, he took care of his grandmother.”
Brandon Morris, 19, was shot near South 45th Street and South Puget Sound Avenue in Tacoma on May 1. Prosecutors said Brandon and his group of friends were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“It was a total random act,” said Elladell. “Two seconds sooner, two seconds later and he would not have been involved.”
Police said Brandon’s killer is Kitt, a felon with at least seven prior convictions ranging from residential burglary to drug possession.
Investigators said the suspect targeted Brandon and his friends because one of them possibly wore a gang color, but police said neither Brandon nor his friends have any known ties to gangs.
“I don’t know why people don’t value life that they have to go around just shooting, just random shooting,” said Elladell.
In court on Friday, Kitt pleaded not guilty to murder, assault and gun charges. Prosecutors asked for high bail and the judge agreed, setting it at $4 million.
Brandon’s mother said he was getting ready to graduate from Bates Technical College to become a diesel mechanic. Now she’s spending her first Mother’s Day without her baby boy.
“I miss my baby, I want my baby back,” she said. “I keep thinking every morning when I wake up it’s just going to be a bad nightmare.”
Kitt’s family was also in court but nobody would agree to an interview.
Tacoma Police said detectives arrested a second suspect on Friday morning, a 17-year-old male.
Brandon’s family will hold a candlelight vigil on Saturday in Wapato Park at 7:30 p.m.