PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - A man accused of killing a woman in the parking lot of a Pierce County convenience store was charged Friday with second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree assault, and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, 40-year-old Jerrmell Warren is accused of firing multiple rounds at a car in a 7-Eleven parking lot in Spanaway on May 26, fatally striking 39-year-old Angelina Palmer on her birthday.
Witnesses told investigators that the suspect was going around the parking lot harassing people. Court documents say that a woman in the passenger seat of a car told the man not to come over which upset the defendant who then pulled a gun on her. The man in the driver's seat told the suspect that he can't just pull a gun on people.
Documents say that the suspect then told the driver to get out of the vehicle. At that point, the driver grabbed bear spray kept in his car door, sprayed the man and drove off. He told police that he believed the man would "steal his car or kill him."
The suspect then started firing multiple rounds at the car, documents say, walking in a semi-circle around the car. Palmer, an innocent bystander, was struck by the gunfire and later died.
A 7-Eleven employee told police she immediately called 911 when she saw the victim on the ground. She also said the suspect had been stumbling around between a few of the gas pumps and inside the store prior to the shooting.
Another witness described the suspect as "confrontational and aggressive." He told investigators he was worried about his safety and whether he could continue walking to his truck. When the suspect started firing, one of the bullets struck his truck. He also confirmed that the victim was an innocent bystander.
Warren has 17 prior felony convictions, according to a criminal history report, and is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. Just five days after allegedly shooting Palmer, police were looking for him for allegedly stealing a car at gunpoint.
Police spotted the stolen car but as Warren sped off, he rammed into a deputy’s car, allowing them to chase him until he crashed in Tacoma where they chased him on foot. He has been in custody since May 31.
Charges, in this case, were filed on June 10.
Palmer's family told FOX 13 News that they were heartbroken over the loss.
"Whatever was going on in the parking lot had nothing to do with her," said her brother Willard Palmer. "She was just going about her day and gets shot on her birthday."
Willard Palmer, who was in court for Warren's appearance, asked a judge to set bail at $5 million.
"I can't, no one can bring back life and if 5 million or 10 million is going to make him feel or sleep better tonight, your honor, give me $5 million bail," Warren said during his court appearance.
"It was pretty emotional, seeing the person who took my sister’s life," he told FOX 13.
Family meant a lot to Angelina. She was one of a dozen brothers and sisters, and had nine children of her own. Her youngest child is a one-year-old and her oldest daughter is 23-years-old and making funeral arrangements for their mom.