About an hour before Dennis Sloboda was shot to death in his car Monday in Federal Way, he was worried about his safety, his brother said Tuesday.
Anton Sloboda said his 33-year-old brother arrived at his apartment about 9 p.m. Monday and immediately asked whether Anton had a gun.
Anton Sloboda, 30, said his brother explained he had cut off someone while driving to the hospital to see his wife, who had given birth to a boy days earlier. Then, when they came to a stop sign or light, “the other guy pulled out a gun,” he said.
Dennis Sloboda said he fled but was followed to his brother’s Federal Way apartment. Once there, Dennis Sloboda, a Federal Way resident, looked out the window and saw the gunman outside.
“I looked and I could see the guy he was talking about, but he left when he saw me,” the brother said.
Anton Sloboda said he thought it was “ridiculous” a road-rage incident could escalate so much, but assumed the other man would give up and go away. He said he did not give his brother a gun.
Instead, he urged his brother to stay for a while, have something to eat and watch a movie, which they did, he said.
He said his brother — who had gotten married in March and was working two jobs: fixing cars with another brother and working as a driver for a ride-service company — left about 10 p.m., headed for the hospital.
But when Anton Sloboda called his sister-in-law at the hospital about 1 a.m., she told him her husband had never shown up.
“She looked at the (GPS) on his cellphone and saw that he looked like he was in the street,” he said. “I went down there, but the police would not let me get close. They said I had to go to talk to the detectives.”
He said his brother, the second of seven brothers who immigrated to the U.S. from Belarus in 1998, had been shot in the head through the back of his car.
Police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock said shots were reported at 10:30 p.m., and the victim was found in the 32800 block of Hoyt Road Southwest, about a five-minute drive from where his brother lived.
She said Dennis Sloboda was involved in “some type of road-rage incident that began in northeast Tacoma while he drove into Federal Way. The exact circumstances are still under investigation.”
She said police are not yet releasing a description of the suspect or vehicle.