King County prosecutors on Thursday charged a 30-year-old Seattle man with second-degree murder, accusing him of fatally shooting a friend’s ex-boyfriend in SeaTac last month.

Travon Johnson was arrested early Sunday by Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputies on a warrant issued by a King County judge in connection with the Aug. 30 homicide, according to the charges. The charges don’t say how Johnson was located or where he was arrested, but say he attempted to flee from the deputies before he was taken into custody.

Travon Johnson, in a photo dated January 15, 2016.  (Department of Corrections)
Travon Johnson, in a photo dated January 15, 2016. (Department of Corrections)

He was booked into the King County Jail on Sunday afternoon and remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail, jail records show. Convicted of a 2009 home-invasion robbery and sentenced to more than eight years in prison, Johnson was also charged Thursday with first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Killed was 41-year-old Matthew Arnett, who was shot once in the torso and died en route to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, the charges say.

The charges don’t spell out a motive but indicate that prosecutors believe Johnson and Arnett, who were strangers, got into a verbal argument outside a house in the 15400 block of 30th Avenue South. The residents then heard a single gunshot and two of them saw Johnson speed off in a black Chevrolet Impala, the same vehicle he was driving at the time of his arrest, the charges say.

Court records do not yet indicate whether Johnson has an attorney.


According to the charges:

Johnson and a woman who lives at the house with roommates met about a year ago. He brought a set of tire rims to the woman’s house around 3 p.m. on Aug. 30 and the two then drove around to various locations.

They were in the woman’s bedroom when Arnett showed up at the house unannounced around 9 p.m. and began pounding on the woman’s door, which accesses the backyard. Arnett, who was possibly drunk, saw Johnson in the woman’s room and made comments about Johnson and himself being members of rival street gangs, the charges say. But the charges don’t speak to whether Arnett or Johnson are in fact gang members.

The woman went outside in an attempt to calm Arnett, who she had broken up with a week earlier. She later told King County Sheriff’s detectives she came back inside after Arnett became aggressive and put his hands on her, say the charges.

Johnson, who was on the phone at the time, left the woman’s bedroom, exited the house and stayed outside when the woman returned to her room, according to the charges.

The woman later told detectives she was in her room for less than a minute when she heard a gunshot. She opened the door, found Arnett on the ground bleeding and saw Johnson drive away, according to the charges.

She called 911 and identified Johnson as the likely suspect, say the charges, which note there is little pedestrian or vehicle traffic outside the residence. Deputies recovered a 9 mm shell casing and an unfired bullet from the scene but did not find a handgun.

According to detectives, Johnson claimed he was with the woman in her bedroom when he heard a gunshot.

Johnson is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 24.