A 19-year-old man was charged Friday with second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault in connection with a shooting Monday night at Seattle’s Alki Beach that prosecutors said began with an argument over fireworks.
Each of the criminal charges filed against Milton Arnold III, whose last known address was in Des Moines, includes a firearms enhancement, charging papers say. Arnold was ordered held in custody at the King County Jail in lieu of $2 million bail, jail and court records show.
He is to be arraigned July 15. Court records do not yet indicate his attorney.
“Although the defendant does not appear to have any prior criminal convictions, on this occasion he shot three people on a crowded public street, killing one and injuring two others,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Berliner wrote in the charges. “Even as he fled with a friend that had also been shot in the fray, he continued to fire down the street.”
Killed was 22-year-old Tilorae Shepherd, who was shot at least five times and died from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the charges against Arnold. Arnold is also accused of shooting a man and a woman, both 22, hitting each of them in the leg as he retreated to a gray BMW with an injured 18-year-old man, according to the charges. The charges do not say who shot the teenager in the abdomen.
The 22-year-old woman shot in the leg was first hit in the back of the head with a firework and angrily confronted another group of people, and as the fight escalated, Shepherd was seen with a gun in his hand but did not point it at anyone before he was shot around 11:55 p.m. Monday, charging papers say.
Seattle police crime-scene investigators recovered nine 9-mm and two .25-caliber shell casings at the shooting scene on Alki Avenue Southwest, between 59th and 60th Avenues Southwest, and also located a magazine for a .357-caliber handgun on Shepherd, though no handguns or .357 shell casings were found at the scene, according to the charges.
Arnold, who matched witness descriptions of the gunman who killed Shepherd, was arrested by Seattle police shortly after he arrived at Harborview Medical Center in a BMW that was used to drive the 18-year-old victim to the emergency room, the charges say. Three handguns — 9-mm, a .25-caliber and a .357-caliber without a magazine — were later found near where Arnold had been sitting in the back seat, according to the charges. The .357’s serial number, later provided to police by one of Shepherd’s relatives, shows that Shepherd’s handgun was one of the weapons police found in the BMW, the charges noted.
The 9-mm handgun found in the BMW was a “ghost gun,” and police determined it had been made with different gun parts and lacked a serial number, according to the charges.