Crime

Suspected shooter in Parkland death talked about ‘protecting the neighborhood’

Nathan Kimbrell enters Pierce County Superior Court on Monday. He was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Wilbur Salway in Parkland.
Nathan Kimbrell enters Pierce County Superior Court on Monday. He was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Wilbur Salway in Parkland. phaley@thenewstribune.com

A 23-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a man Thursday in Parkland made a video of himself holding a gun and vowing to “clean up the neighborhood,” according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Several people called 911 about 2 a.m. to report hearing gunshots near 126th Street South and Pacific Avenue South.

Wilbur Salway, 46, heard shots from his motel room less than a block away and went outside to see what was going on, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

“He then was randomly shot by the suspect,” Troyer said.

Detectives do not believe the men knew each other.

When deputies arrived, they found Salway lying in the grass outside a coffee shop. He was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Witnesses reported seeing a man run from the area east on Tule Lake Road, so Washington State Patrol troopers helped surround the area while a search dog looked for the gunman.

As the dog and its handler approached 132nd Street, they saw a man run across the road and behind a mobile home. He was found hiding in the backyard and taken into custody.

Investigators found a gun hidden in bushes.

No motive has been released, but detectives said the shooting appears to be random.

The suspect was identified Monday as Nathan Kimbrell Jr. of Parkland.

Kimbrell sent a social media post of himself holding a gun and talking about “protecting the neighborhood” moments before the shooting, according to court records. He is also believed to have pointed the gun at another man in the area.

On Monday, prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set Kimbrell’s bail at $1 million.

Records show Kimbrell bought a .40 caliber pistol and ammunition the day before Salway’s death.

Staff writer Kenny Ocker contributed to this report.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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