A 42-year-old man pleaded not guilty Wednesday in connection with a Tacoma gang shooting, believed to be the city’s first, a quarter-century ago.
Terris Miller is serving time in the federal system for an unrelated crime. He is the fifth man arraigned for the Aug. 28, 1988, fatal shooting of Bernard Houston. He pleaded not guilty to the Tacoma charge, and bail was set at $1 million.
Four others – Nathaniel Miles, Brian Allen, Anthony Ralls and Darrell Lee, all in their 40s – have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the gang killing.
Houston was 17 when he was gunned down in a Hilltop neighborhood in what police said was a retaliation shooting. The defendants allegedly belonged to a different gang than Houston and were upset about an earlier attack that targeted their members, according to court records.
One of the cars used in the drive-by shooting belonged to Miller’s mother.
In 2001, Miller admitted to police he was at the scene of the shooting but denied shooting at anyone or having a gun at the time.
He told a detective that he and other members of his gang took two cars to look for rival gang members and found Houston and another man parked in a Jeep near South Sheridan Avenue and 23rd Street.
Miller said “he observed people on the sidewalk next to the Jeep and then saw and heard gunfire erupt” from the other car carrying Miller’s friends, court records show. “He said people fled and got down for cover, as did he.”
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653