LAKEWOOD - A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier killed in a stabbing has been identified as 20-year-old Tevin Geike. Geike died from injuries he suffered after being stabbed multiple times.
The incident happened around 2:30 a.m Saturday in the 12500 block of Pacific Highway SW in Lakewood. Police said they are looking at the murder as a possible hate crime, but they need to apprehend five suspects allegedly involved in the incident to better determine the cause.
“Truthfully, I still don’t believe it happened,” Candace Marshall said. Marshall said her son was close friends with Geike.
“He was having a party with my family, went for a walk and that is the last time we saw him,” she said.
Marshall said Geike was out celebrating Friday night after being released from the military after serving his contract.
“He was energetic, having fun, and not causing any trouble,” Candace's son, John Marshall said.
After leaving the motel party, Geike was walking along Pacific Highway SW with two other active duty soldiers when someone in a car shouted out a racial slur -- something about them being white.
One of the soldiers with Geike yelled back about disrespecting combat veterans. The car then reportedly turned around and five black men got out of the car and surrounded the soldiers, which led to a verbal altercation.
Lakewood police said when the driver realized that Geike and his friends were combat veterans, he called his friends off but one of the suspects did not listen and stabbed Geike.
Marshall said her son rushed to the scene shortly after the stabbing, but his friend was already dead. “My son believes he is in a nightmare and he will wake up,” she said.
“This is despicable, this is very gut-wrenching. This is a military family,” Army veteran Tyrone Sherrod said. He said he did not know Geike, but he felt it would be best for the suspects to turn themselves in "because this whole community in Lakewood and Tacoma are outraged, and we are not going to stand for it. The saddest part of this whole thing is he died for nothing.”
“It’s upsetting to see that someone who made it through a combat tour, to come back, and his own countrymen are that willing to assault,” Staff Sgt. James Lawrence said.
Police hope surveillance videos from nearby businesses will help them identify the suspects.
The suspect vehicle is described as a midnight blue BMW or VW Jetta with four doors. It has tinted windows and stock rim and low-profile tires.
The suspects are all black males and the main suspect is described as being in his early 20s, about 6-feet, 1-inch tall with a medium build and wearing a blue, zip-up hoodie.
The driver is described as 5-feet, 7-inches tall with short, cropped hair, who was wearing a blue-and-white, horizontal-striped shirt.
The third suspect is described as having short hair and wearing a gray tank top. The fourth suspect is described as being 5-feet, 6- or7-inches tall and was wearing camouflage pants that were described not as "true camouflage" but as a "paintball splat-type" of design.
The fifth suspect is described as 5-feet, 6-inches tall.