Tacoma police: Drive-by victim may have been shot for wearing gang colors

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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.

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33 comments

  • Glen

    Just put the shooter down. He’s nothing more than a coward. A low life thug who doesn’t deserve to breathe.

    • jj

      This is outrageous. The gang crime and overall crime in Tacoma is getting ridiculous. Then again crime is going on everywhere.

  • Jeffrey

    Why isn’t this a hate crime? The media won’t tell us the skin color of the alleged murderer. It’s not hard to figure that out, isn’t it?

    • Adella Cortes

      This is just so heartbreaking. My heart goes out to this mother, I cry with pain in my heart for her. I cannot even begin to imagine what she’s going through. My mom lost her only son to a 22 yr. old drunk driver, that never was punished and went on to live a nice cushy life. I found him a few years ago and wrote him a letter, the coward of course never answered my letter. I hope justice will be served in this case. This just breaks my heart for this mom. May she have the strength to get through this.

    • katelin

      my grandpa ralph lives a few houses down from you and when i heard i was in shock i couldnt believe this had happened. my sister, brandon, another one of our friends and i used to all hang out when we were younger. i hadnt talked to him in a few years but still knowing him and seeing this happen is very scary and very sad . brandon was a great person and im so very sorry for what happened.

  • chad

    This is my little cousin he was nothing short of an amazing person …who ever did it can burn in hell and rot for all I care brandon was an amazing athlete it seems like yesterday I was helping his dad teach him to play football he was a good kid not a drug addict or gang banger he was the happiest person around all the time the one to brighten a smile on anyone face even if you was having a sour day this kid was full of life …I love and miss you brandon rip cuzin. ..!!!!!

  • matt

    Such a bad area, my sister lived there many years ago, she was robbed and pistol whipped, a few years a guy died in her back yard, at least they found the murdering coward, my he rest in jail or get shanked in there

  • Wesley

    So how about telling us what color they victim was wearing so we can tell our kids not to wear that color? Otherwise, what good is this news report?

  • sfl

    The only ‘wrong color’ the victim was wearing had nothing to do with clothes. He was singled out because of his skin color. Give Alexander Kitt life in the worst prison and have his family sued into complete and utter bankruptcy.

    • T.J.

      Isn’t that about the norm lately. Better believe they found a way to avoid mentioning race though, and even a way to blame the victim: wore the wrong color? In the wrong place? And they justified it without meaning to: retaliation for an earlier shooting.

      Considering these articles are the only spotlight white cases get, its be nice if they told the straight truth without all the BS. We need to report these as black victims first to see how much light gets shined on them… People would be more mad a about that than the actual killing.

  • revbacon

    Seriously? They thought a white kid was in a black gang? Does the media have any shame left at all? Any lie necessary to hide the Big Lie. Reading the comments, it doesn’t look like many people were fooled.

  • S. Temper

    More black-on-white murder. See ‘New Nation News Black-on-White’ online for links to hundreds more brutal black-on-white murders the national news media is hiding. Don’t become a victim. We need a national discussion about the epidemic level of black violence in the USA.

  • John Fuller

    I find this story interesting since I saw a young white guy with a red bandana hanging from his pocket which is exactly like the “rags” that Blood gang members wear. I told him “don’t end up in the wrong part of town with that rag in your pocket”… He looked at me as if I didn’t know what I was talking about and kept walking.

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