Suspect arrested in Tacoma Safeway stabbing
Tacoma police have arrested a 34-year-old man suspected of stabbing and critically injuring another man May 16 at a Hilltop grocery store.
The 31-year-old victim suffered a lacerated bicep, punctured lung and damage to his spleen.
Prosecutors on Thursday charged Steffan Dupree Gale with first-degree assault, and he was ordered held in the Pierce County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Tacoma police and charging documents gave this account:
The stabbing occurred shortly after 11 p.m. at the Safeway store at 1112 S. M St.
The two men had been in the store when they got into an altercation. The victim was stabbed in the chest and the other man left.
Gale was arrested Wednesday on a state Department of Corrections escape warrant. He wore the same baseball hat, zip-up jacket and slipper-type shoes as the attacker shown in surveillance video taken at the store.
He told police he’d met with the victim to buy methamphetamine from him. Gale said the other man wouldn’t sell him the drugs unless Gale took him to a house.
Gale said he refused and went into the store to buy groceries. He told investigators he overheard the victim talking on a cellphone in the store, making a reference to him. He said he pulled out a knife and the victim hit him. Gale said he didn’t remember stabbing the victim.
stacey.mulick @thenewstribune.com 253-597-8268 blog.thenewstribune.com/crime