A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a 32-year-old man who was under state Department of Corrections supervision when he fatally shot a stranger in the head outside a Seattle motel earlier this month, according to King County prosecutors.

Johnathan Stanley, who was living in Tukwila after his most recent release from prison, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm in the death of 26-year-old Tony Cannon, charging papers say.

Cannon was shot late May 11 outside the Emerald Motel in the 12000 block of Aurora Avenue North, the charges say. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he was removed from life support and died three days later.

The stretch of Aurora Avenue North where the shooting happened is a well-known area of prostitution and drug dealing.

Stanley, who has prior felony convictions in King, Pierce and Thurston counties, most recently served prison time for beating a woman and stealing her belongings in 2019 because she wasn’t making him enough money through prostitution, court records show. He ultimately pleaded guilty to reduced charges and was sentenced to 19 months in prison.

Seattle police found Cannon suffering from a gunshot wound to the head after they were called to the Emerald Motel parking lot at 11:50 p.m. on May 11, the charges say. Police found a handgun in his fanny pack and several shell casings from two different guns, say the charges, which note others in the parking lot fired at the killer’s car as it fled the scene.


A witness told police that earlier that night, he and Cannon had flirted with a woman outside a restaurant one mile south of the motel, but she didn’t appreciate their attention and told them she was calling someone to report their unwanted advances, charging papers say.

The two men drove to the motel and were followed by another man, who confronted them in the parking lot about their encounter with his “girl,” the charges say. Cannon and the witness said they meant no disrespect, and the other man drove away five minutes later.

The witness said the man returned shortly after 11 p.m., parked next to Cannon’s car and got into an argument with Cannon “for no reason” about 45 minutes later, according to the charges. The man, who appeared to be drunk, then shot Cannon once in the head, the witness told investigators.

Video footage from the motel captured the shooting, and Stanley’s community corrections officer, who had met with Stanley a day earlier, identified him from the footage, the charges say.

Detectives also showed footage from the motel to a Tukwila woman with whom Stanley had been living, and she identified him as the man who shot Cannon, according to the charges. She had given Stanley and a woman a ride shortly after the shooting but told police she hasn’t seen him since dropping Stanley and his companion off in a Tukwila parking lot, the charges say.

Stanley’s whereabouts are unknown.