Court Docs: Seattle ‘mass shooting’ suspects ‘under DOC supervision’


The scene in downtown Seattle on the evening of Jan. 22 following a deadly shooting. (Screen snip, YouTube, KING5 News)

Two suspects in the deadly downtown Seattle shooting last month, now in custody, were under the supervision of the Washington Department of Corrections at the time of the incident, according to charging documents filed by the King County Prosecutor’s office.

William Tolliver and Marquise Tolbert, both 34, were jailed in Las Vegas, Nevada following their arrest in that city over the weekend. They are tentatively scheduled for arraignment Feb. 19 in King County Superior Court, and are being held without bail, facing charges of first-degree murder among other things, according to KING 5 News, the local NBC affiliate..

Tolbert and Tolliver have 65 arrests and 35 convictions between them, including at least four felonies, and at the time of the shooting, Tolbert was “on bench warrant status,” the documents say, meaning he was wanted.

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A third participant in that shooting—which now appears to have been a spontaneous gunfight between rival gang members—is currently in jail facing a charge of unlawful firearm possession. That suspect is identified as Jamel Jackson, allegedly a member of a rival gang.

All three suspects have criminal backgrounds precluding them from legally possessing firearms, yet all three were carrying guns on Jan. 22 when the shooting erupted outside a McDonald’s restaurant. One woman was killed in the crossfire and seven others were injured. There is reportedly a video from a gun shop in south King County, record about 4 ½ hours before the shooting, that shows Tolbert purchasing a spare 12-round magazine for a Glock .380 ACP-caliber pistol. Such purchases do not require background checks.

The shooting resulted in several people wounded and one female bystander, 55-year-old Tanya Jackson, was killed. Three days after the shooting, Tolliver and Tolbert allegedly fled to Las Vegas in an automobile with Tolbert’s girlfriend, and the next day, Jan. 26, they checked into a Las Vegas hotel room.

Evergreen State Second Amendment activists say this shooting, and the histories of the suspects, are graphic evidence of the failure of restrictive gun control laws and regulations adopted over the past few years in Washington on the grounds that they would prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.

In 2014, the billionaire-backed Alliance for Gun Responsibility spent more than $10.2 million to pass Initiative 594, which mandates so-called “universal background checks” on all firearms transfers. While the law has affected law-abiding gun owners and gun show operations, it does not appear to have prevented any gun-related violent crimes, including two high-profile multiple homicides in 2016, more than 18 months after the initiative took effect.

In 2015, the Seattle City Council adopted a tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition, driving one popular gun store out of the city and into a neighboring county, and driving down sales at another major outdoor store.

More than two decades ago, Washington voters approved “Three Strikes” and “Hard Time for Armed Crime” initiatives, both championed by the firearms community.


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