Crime

Third shooter in fatal Lakewood nightclub attack arrested

Last suspect in fatal Lakewood nightclub shooting pleads not guilty

Dominique Avington, 28, pleaded not guilty in connection to a fatal shooting in October 2018 in Lakewood. His bail was set at $2 million during his arraignment July 17, 2019.
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Dominique Avington, 28, pleaded not guilty in connection to a fatal shooting in October 2018 in Lakewood. His bail was set at $2 million during his arraignment July 17, 2019.

The third suspected gunman in a fatal shooting last year outside a Lakewood nightclub has been arrested in Oregon.

Dominique James Avington, 28, is charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree assault for the Oct. 21 shooting at New World VIP Lounge.

A not guilty plea was entered on Avington’s behalf Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court. Commissioner Sabrina Ahrens set bail at $2 million.

Police say he and two others opened fire toward the entrance of the club after a fight inside.

Terrance King, 28, died from a gunshot wound to the back. Three others who were shot in the back or foot survived.

Lakewood police eventually arrested six people believed to be gang members from Portland.

Avington is the sixth to be charged with the shooting, but Pierce County prosecutors have dismissed charges against three men.

According to charging papers:

Officers were called to the club Oct. 21 and found the victims near the entrance.

Casings from two handguns, a 9 mm and .40 caliber, were found at the scene.

Surveillance video shows a fight inside the club prior to the shooting. Then a group of men left, and two of them turned to fire shots. Detectives believe shots were fired from three areas in the parking lot.

Although the faces of the gunmen weren’t clear in the New World video, police could make out what two of the shooters were wearing.

Footage from a Tacoma nightclub the group visited earlier in the night helped detectives identify the suspected gang members.

They allegedly jumped a man inside the Lakewood club, which led to a series of other fights. It’s unknown what started the altercation.

The two others suspected shooters — Darry Daquan Smalley, 23, and Kenneth Davis, 19 — have both pleaded not guilty to the same charges and are being held on $2 million each.

Smalley was extradited from Hawaii, where prosecutors say he flew by using identification and credit card of someone he looks like.

Davis was identified through surveillance video and social media.

Prosecutors last month dismissed charges against Thomas Cooper and Leonard Brightmon, both 31, because they “cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was complicit in the shooting,” court records say.

Brightmon is Smalley’s brother, prosecutors said in court.

Charges were dismissed in May against Monroe James Ezell, 30, because “the State cannot prove Monroe Ezell knew what was about to happen outside or was complicit in what would transpire,” according to court documents.

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Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.
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