A Kent man called 911 early on a recent morning, concerned about a domestic disturbance he and his roommate were hearing in the apartment above their own. Twenty-nine minutes later, he called 911 again to report his roommate had been shot in the chest by a man leaving that apartment, according to King County prosecutors.
Darian Downing, 27, was arrested April 13 as he was leaving his mother’s Renton apartment and was charged last week with second-degree murder in connection with that March 30 fatal shooting, which killed 28-year-old Marcus Golden, court records show. Downing — who was out on bail in a Pierce County domestic-violence robbery and assault case at the time of the Kent shooting and was under court order not to possess firearms — was also charged in King County Superior Court with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, say court records. He remains jailed in lieu of $3 million bail.
Downing’s defense attorneys, Ramona Brandes and Matthew Heintz, did not respond to an email seeking comment. Downing is to be arraigned April 29.
Golden’s roommate called 911 at 1:43 a.m. on March 30 after hearing a woman crying and screaming in the unit above his residence at the Mosaic Hills Apartments in the 23800 block of 110th Avenue Southeast, charging papers say. He called again 12 minutes later to ask about the delayed police response.
Golden’s roommate called 911 a third time at 2:12 a.m. to report that Golden had been shot and the gunman had fled on foot, say the charges. He later told Kent police detectives that as the sounds of a fight between a man and woman continued, Golden said they needed to do something, even as the roommate cautioned him to wait for police to arrive, according to charging papers.
The roommate told detectives he and Golden made it to the landing between the first and second floors when Golden suddenly pushed his roommate back down the stairs as another man approached, pulled a gun from his pocket and shot Golden, then ran from the building, say the charges. No words were exchanged between the men, and Golden died at the scene, charging papers say. Officers found a .40-caliber shell casing near Golden’s body and a spent round in the wall of the stairwell, according to the charges.
The roommate told police he and Golden had been in previous confrontations with the other man and had called 911 at least once before to report an earlier domestic disturbance, say the charges.
The woman who lives in the apartment where the argument occurred later identified Downing from his Department of Licensing photo, received phone calls from Downing and his mother while police were present but didn’t answer the calls, and received a text message from Downing saying, “You don’t know me. I left. Leave it alone,” according to charging papers. She told police her argument with Downing had not been a physical fight, say the charges.
Police found Downing’s birth certificate, social security card and several rounds of .40 caliber ammunition in the woman’s apartment; inside Downing’s car, which was found parked in the complex’s lot, police found an ignition-interlock contract in Downing’s name, operator’s manuals for two handguns and a receipt, also bearing Downing’s name, for .40-caliber ammunition purchased in April 2020 from a Puyallup gun shop, say the charges.
Kent police detectives confirmed Downing had purchased a .40-caliber handgun from the same Puyallup gun shop in May 2020, according to the charges.
Court records in Pierce County Superior Court show Downing was charged in June 2020 with first-degree robbery, second-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault and theft of a firearm, all domestic-violence offenses involving a different woman described in charging papers as his live-in girlfriend. Though Downing was ordered not to possess firearms as a condition of his release on $75,000 bail, court records do not include an order expressly requiring him to surrender firearms.