After more than three decades, police announced Tuesday that they have ended their investigation into the death of Michael Vanderpool, 36, who was found shot to death in a Southwest Seattle alley.
The homicide investigation into the death of Michael Vanderpool, 36, who was shot in a Southwest Seattle alley in 1984, has been closed, Seattle police announced Tuesday. Investigators believe the suspected shooter is also dead.
Homicide Detective Rolf Norton, who started reviewing the case in June as part of a broader look into different cold-case files, recently tracked down several witnesses, who provided new details of the shooting, Seattle police said in a news release.
They now believe Gary Tolliver, who died in 2013, killed Vanderpool, who was originally from California, according to public records. The 36-year-old victim was found dead from a gunshot wound to his chest in the 7700 block of 16th Avenue Southwest, in Seattle’s Delridge neighborhood, on May 5, 1984, police said.
At the time, investigators were unable to find witnesses, police said. A relative of the victim told police, however, that Vanderpool and Tolliver were seen together the night of the shooting, police said.
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Police interviewed Tolliver in 1984 but were not able to gather enough evidence to arrest him, police said in the release. They also believe he may have influenced witnesses’ interviews with investigators, police said.
Details on Tolliver’s motive remain unknown, though police said he “was reportedly volatile, was known to carry a gun, and ran in the same circle of methamphetamine users as Vanderpool.”