Fatal shooting in Tacoma's Stadium District was robbery gone wrong

Staff writerSeptember 4, 2013 

Lawrence Howse

COURTESY PHOTO — Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers

Tacoma police said a fatal shooting in a Stadium District parking garage last weekend was a random robbery gone wrong and are asking anyone who might have seen two suspicious men in the area to call in tips.

Lawrence Howse, 54, arrived home at the Sky Terrace Condominiums shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday. He entered his code to open the door to the private garage and pulled his black BMW inside.

That’s when detectives believe two men slid under the door to gain access to the garage. It’s unclear whether Howse saw them.

“He was confronted in the secure parking garage and shot and killed,” police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said. “It was a robbery that went wrong, a crime of opportunity.”

A passerby stumbled across Howse’s body around 10:30 p.m., called 911 and started CPR. Howse died at the scene.

Police believe the suspects entered the garage from the south side. They likely fled north on Broadway.

Saturday night was balmy and detectives are hoping people walking in the area or hanging out on their balconies might have seen something before or after the homicide, like two men crouching in bushes or running down the street.

Police describe the suspects as two black men in their late teens or early 20s with average builds. One had a light complexion and was wearing a white shirt and dark pants, they said, and the other was wearing a dark shirt and dark pants.

“Anybody who saw anything that they thought at the time was odd but didn’t call it in, we would appreciate a phone call,” Cool said.

Tipsters can reach Cool at 253-591-5968.

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