Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has charged Monroe James Ezell, 30, a known gang member, with one count of murder in the second degree for the shooting death of Terrance King. King, 28, was shot outside a Lakewood nightclub.
“We started a Gang Unit in the office because of senseless violence like this,” said Lindquist. “We’ve cut gang violence in half, but there is still work to do.”
On Oct. 21 at about 1:30 a.m., officers responded to reports of a shooting at the New World VIP Lounge in Lakewood. When officers arrived, they found several people who had been shot near the entrance of the nightclub. Three of them, including King, had been shot in the back.
Investigators obtained video from inside the club, from neighboring businesses, and from cell phones. The interior video shows a fight break out inside the club shortly before shots were fired outside. Video also shows a group of men leave the club during the fight.
Cell phone video outside the club shows the same group of men walking through the parking lot and shooting back toward the area where the victims were shot.
While the video didn’t clearly show the men’s faces, police were able to get a good look at what they were wearing. Police also received tips that the men visited the Latitude 84 nightclub prior to arriving at New World VIP.
Video from Latitude 84 was much better and with the help of Seattle Police and Portland Police, investigators were able to identify the defendant, Monroe Ezell, as a suspect in the New World VIP shooting and member of the “74 Hoover Crips” street gang in Portland.
There are several other men who have not yet been identified and prosecutors say more charges are possible.
Ezell’s bail was set at $2,000,000.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.