TACOMA — A 23-year-old man who made a video in which he displayed his gun and discussed “cleaning up the neighborhood” has been arrested on charges that he randomly shot and killed a 46-year-old man in Parkland early Thursday morning, authorities said Friday.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said Wilbur Salway, 46, who was living at the Blue Spruce Motel in Parkland, was shot and killed near a Starbuck’s store near 126th Street South and Pacific Avenue South. The suspect reportedly had been firing a gun in the area minutes before hitting the victim.
Witnesses reported seeing a male suspect running from the area. A deputy with his K-9 partner Zepp tracked the suspect’s scent and found the 23-year-old hiding in a nearby backyard, the sheriff’s department said. They also found a discarded handgun at another location.
“Detectives believe the victim heard the first (of the suspect’s) gunshots from inside his motel room, went outside to investigate, then was randomly shot by the suspect,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release. “Detectives have learned that in the minutes before the shooting, the suspect pointed a gun at another person walking in the same area.”
The sheriff’s department said the suspect bought the gun on Wednesday.
“Shortly before the homicide occurred, the suspect sent a video to a family member; in the video the suspect pointed the gun at the camera and discussing ‘cleaning up the neighborhood.'”
The suspect was booked into the Pierce County Jail for first-degree murder. He will be formally charged on Monday. Q13 News does not typically identify suspects until they are formally charged.