Victim in Kent carjacking clung to truck when it was stolen, was killed with own gun

Jered Sperling jumped on the side of his pickup truck when a convicted felon stole it outside a Kent storage facility but was ultimately killed with his own handgun when the carjacker panicked and shot Sperling in the bed of the truck, according to court documents.

On Thursday, 23-year-old Gurkeerat Kainth was ordered held on $1 million bail. King County prosecutors are expected to charge him with second-degree murder, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and theft of a motor vehicle.

The carjacking and shooting occurred Monday night in the 10600 block of Southeast 240th Street.

Court records give this account:

Sperling, 38, managed the storage facility with his wife.

He was standing outside the facility’s gate about 8:10 p.m. speaking to customers with his pickup truck running nearby, the driver’s door open.

Kainth jumped into the truck to steal it and Sperling grabbed onto the side of the truck when he realized what was happened.

Sperling eventually managed to get into the bed of the truck.

“Mr. Kainth drove in a reckless way to try to shake (Sperling) off the back of the car at high speeds and ultimately ended up ending his life by own admission,” prosecutors wrote in a probable cause statement.

Sperling’s wife immediately called 911 to report the carjacking and kidnapping, but Kent police could not find him or the truck.

After reviewing surveillance footage, detectives found two people of interest and pleaded with the public to help them find Sperling.

His truck was located Tuesday at an apartment complex about two miles from where it was stolen. Sperling’s body was in the bed of the truck.

Kainth told police he found a gun in the truck’s console and shot Sperling before dumping the truck at the apartment building.

He claimed he was high on drugs.

The second person of interest was not arrested, and police said he was not involved with the crime.

Kainth has been arrested 10 times as an adult and has two prior convictions for possessing a stolen vehicle. He had a warrant out for the same charge when he allegedly carjacked Sperling and killed him, records show.