Pierce County prosecutors have charged a 35-year-old Tacoma man with second-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Larnell Griffin, 33, on April 16. Griffin was found inside an apartment at South 40th and Lawrence streets at about 1:45 a.m., with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Prosecutors filed charges Friday against Thomas Sterling Potts Jr. His nickname is “Smoke.” According to charging papers, Potts and Griffin had a disagreement about cellphones April 15. Potts and two other men reportedly came to Griffin’s apartment to talk. A witness saw Potts point a handgun at Griffin, who walked backward with his hands up. A struggle for the gun followed. The witness saw Potts shoot Griffin in the chest.
Potts remains at large, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. He is listed as 6 feet, 4 inches tall, and weighs 225 pounds. Police said Potts also has a separate active arrest warrant from the state Department of Corrections. Police urge anyone who has seen Potts to call 911.