A short time after three men drove away together from a Capitol Hill nightclub early in the morning of June 1, two were dead, according to Seattle police.
What drew Ahmed Said, 27; Dwone Anderson-Young, 23; and Ali Muhammad Brown, 30, together remains unclear, said homicide Detective Cloyd Steiger.
Said and Anderson-Young were new friends, according to Anderson-Young’s family. But how the victims knew Brown remains unknown.
What Steiger does believe is that after leaving RPlace, a gay nightclub, and driving toward Anderson-Young’s house in Said’s Mitsubishi Galant, Brown pulled out a gun and killed the two men.
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The two men were just steps from the home Anderson-Young shared with his mother near Leschi when they were shot at close range. Police believe that after killing the two men, Brown took off in Said’s Mitsubishi. The vehicle was found abandoned two days later in South Seattle.
A police source said they identified Brown as a suspect from fingerprints found inside Mitsubishi.
Seattle police are still searching for Brown, a felon who is believed to be armed and dangerous. A police source said they think he is hiding out in Pierce County.
Steiger said Brown is wanted on warrants for failure to register as a sex offender and for the slayings. In March 2012, Brown pleaded guilty to communication with a minor for immoral purposes and was sentenced to a year in jail.
A motive for the slayings is not known, but during a news conference earlier this month, Mayor Ed Murray said one of the victims was gay, although he didn’t specify whether it may have been a factor. When asked whether the shootings were being investigated as a hate crime, Assistant Police Chief Carmen Best said “nothing is off the table.”
Initially, police identified a different suspect, but he has since been cleared.
Matalepuna Malu, 26, called his brother shortly after the shootings and said he had shot someone in the face, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed after he was arrested in connection with the case.
Malu turned himself in to police, saying he wanted to clear his name. Steiger said that after Malu’s arrest police located surveillance video showing the man walking into a SeaTac casino around the time of the slayings.
Steiger said they don’t know if Malu actually shot someone and they are unsure why he would tell his brother he killed someone.
Malu is being held in federal custody in connection with probation violations involving an alleged assault, consumption of alcohol, associating with a felon and violating a no-contact order. The alleged assault is unrelated to the Seattle slayings case.
Malu’s next U.S. District Court hearing is scheduled for July 24.
Malu has had numerous encounters with the criminal-justice system, including incidents involving domestic violence, drugs and illegal firearms.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Malu was linked to a group that distributed OxyContin in the Everett area and in 2011 he was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.
In addition, he is under investigation in an assault case and is facing a harassment charge in Snohomish County. As a result, he is also under investigation for allegedly violating the conditions of his federal supervision, court records show.
Falana Young, Anderson-Young’s mother, said Thursday that police tell her “they’re confident they’ll find him [Brown].”
“From day one I have thought this is a hate crime,” Young said. “Everything in his [her son’s] wallet was intact, everything was there. They didn’t take anything from him, so it wasn’t a robbery.”
Young, on Wednesday, added that she wants Brown caught.
“I want him off the streets,” she said.
Anderson-Young graduated from the University of Washington in 2012 with a bachelor of arts degree in communications and humanities. He is great-grandson of famed Seattle jazz musician Ernestine Anderson.
Anderson-Young, who was gay, “didn’t have a bad bone in his body,” his mother said.
Said’s uncle, Hasan Elmi, reported that Said immigrated from Somalia.
According to police, Brown is black, 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, with brown eyes. Police believe he is a transient who has previously frequented the South King County area. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who sees Brown or has any information about his location is asked to call 911 or the Homicide Tip Line at 206-233-5000.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.