A 24-year-old Burien man was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in connection with the Dec. 8 shooting death of Mohamed Nejash, 21. At the time, the suspected gunman was out on bail for a July drive-by shooting in Burien.
An ongoing feud between rival South Seattle gangs was apparently behind the Dec. 8 shooting of 21-year-old Mohamed Nejash, who died at Harborview Medical Center before he could make it into the emergency room, according to police.
King County prosecutors Wednesday charged Marhowe Kifle, a 24-year-old Burien man, with first-degree murder in connection with Nejash’s death.
When he was arrested in Lynnwood on Tuesday, Kifle was armed with a handgun loaded with polycarbonate-tipped ammunition, “designed in part to defeat body armor,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jason Simmons wrote in charging documents.
Kifle was ordered held in lieu of $2.5 million bail.
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At the time of last month’s fatal shooting in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, Kifle was out on bail in a July 4 drive-by shooting in Burien, according to court records. In that case, Kifle was driving a Ford Mustang when he is accused of firing 15 rounds at a Toyota Camry occupied by two men, narrowly missing them, charging papers say. The unprovoked shooting ended when the Camry rear-ended the Mustang and Kifle was thrown from the vehicle, the charges say.
Kifle was treated for his injuries, then spent two days in jail before posting $50,000 bail, jail and court records show.
The male passenger in the Toyota Camry was a friend of Nejash, the December homicide victim, according to charges filed in that first-degree murder case.
The Seattle police homicide detective investigating Nejash’s death noted that while the specific motive for his killing is unknown, it is likely related to an ongoing feud between rival Seattle gang members, with Nejash and Kifle on opposite sides of that dispute, charging papers say.
Police say Kifle stalked and ambushed Nejash after spotting him entering a marijuana dispensary just off Rainier Avenue South around 1 p.m. on Dec. 8, according to the charges. Kifle had also patronized the same dispensary and was sitting outside in his car when Nejash entered the business, the charges say.
Driving a black Chrysler 300, Kifle later followed Nejash, who was a passenger in a red Ford Taurus, the charges say. He is accused of firing at least six rounds into the passenger side of the Taurus at the intersection of Rainier Avenue South and South Genesee Street, then fleeing southbound.
The driver of the Taurus drove Nejash to Harborview, where he died.
Information from confidential witnesses and video-surveillance footage from the marijuana dispensary and other area businesses helped police identify Kifle as the gunman, the charges say.