He killed a man after being ambushed. He’s charged with the gun and drugs, not the death

A man who fatally shot a fellow gang member who opened fire on him outside a Lakewood barbershop has been charged, but not with the man’s death.

Cavell Reed, 32, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

He is being jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Reed, who has at least six felony convictions, is prohibited from having a gun.

Police say Jesse Hinton and his cousin, Charles McKee, planned to ambush Reed May 2 as he walked out of a barbershop near Steilacoom Boulevard Southwest and South Tacoma Way.

The men waited in a van around the corner and when Reed stepped outside and walked to his car, they drove up and started shooting through the van’s open sliding door, according to charging papers.

Some of the 23 shots pierced Reed’s car and others went into the barbershop, where a mother and her two young children, among other customers, were.

Reed returned fire and one of the bullets struck Hinton, who was driving the van. It crashed into a power box and light pole as the men tried to flee the parking lot.

Hinton, 43, died.

Police found him slumped over the wheel atop a .40-caliber pistol that had been unloaded. He was wearing gloves and a bandana on his face.

McKee, 45, was able to get away but was arrested in August. He is being held on $1 million after pleading not guilty to attempted first-degree murder, drive-by shooting, six counts of first-degree assault and unlawful gun possession.

Pierce County prosecutors contend the ambush was retaliation for a 2015 shooting where Reed allegedly shot Hinton after being given fake pills in a drug deal.

“The defendant confronted Hinton and when Hinton refused to make things right, the defendant shot him in the back,” court records show.

Reed was uncooperative with police after the shooting but appeared to be frightened for his family’s safety when he found out he’d killed Hinton, records show.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653