When a group of friends admonished Kenneth Sutton Jr. for throwing up gang signs outside a Federal Way bar two weeks ago, he began to walk away, but then turned and opened fire on the crowd, killing one man and wounding four other people, King County prosecutors allege.
Sutton, who is being held without bail at the Regional Justice Center in Kent, was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder, accused of gunning down Cloise Young, 23, of Kent.
He also was charged with first-degree assault in the shooting of two men and two women, all bystanders not involved in an argument that erupted as people were leaving Johnny’s Famous Grill & Bar at closing time June 27.
Prosecutors also charged Sutton with a firearm enhancement on each count. If convicted, the 21-year-old Renton man faces a prison term of 30 to 40 years, prosecutors spokesman Dan Donohoe said.
“Despite currently being on supervision by the Department of Corrections for a domestic violence offense, the defendant left a bar where he had been drinking in violation of his probation and instigated an argument by claiming his gang affiliation,” deputy prosecutor Jessica Berliner wrote in charging documents.
“When the victim and his friends told the defendant to stop and not ‘bang’ at that location, the defendant sprayed bullets into the crowd.”
A 31-year-old woman, who had argued with Sutton inside the bar, was critically wounded after being shot twice in the pelvis. A 28-year-old man, a friend of Young’s, was shot in the right leg and buttock, according to charging documents.
Another 31-year-old woman suffered a bullet wound to her left thigh, and a 29-year-old man was shot in the right buttock, the papers say.
Sutton, who called his sister for a ride to Valley Medical Center, arrived at the hospital with a 21-year-old friend. Both men had gunshot wounds to their legs, and Sutton also had been shot in the right arm, according to charging documents.
He was arrested at the hospital, where one officer described him as “verbally abusive and uncooperative” with both police and medical staff members, the papers say.
The 31-year-old woman told officers at Harborview Medical Center that while she was on the ground after being shot, she “saw someone firing from the ground in the direction of the original shooter.” While it might have been Young, the woman could not see his face, charging papers say.
Young, who had a concealed-weapons permit and appeared to be lawfully armed, was shot three times and died at the scene. Officers found an empty holster attached to his pants, but did not recover any firearms, the papers say.
Officers also found five .45-caliber cartridge cases grouped around Young and 21 .40-caliber cartridge cases along the sidewalk from where Young collapsed, according to charging papers.