Crime

Teen shot by stranger in Tacoma over misunderstanding has died, been identified

Homeless man charged in double Tacoma shooting that critically injured 1

Wesley Armstead, a homeless man, pleaded not guilty at arraignment Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Pierce County Court to charges in connection with a double shooting last week that left an 18 year-old man critically injured.
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Wesley Armstead, a homeless man, pleaded not guilty at arraignment Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Pierce County Court to charges in connection with a double shooting last week that left an 18 year-old man critically injured.

An 18-year-old man shot by a stranger on a Tacoma street earlier this week has died.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Chase Seibold, of Tacoma, and said he died of a shotgun wound to the face.

Seibold’s 35-year-old uncle was also shot but is expected to survive.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged Wesley Armstead, a 26-year-old homeless man, with attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with Monday’s shooting near East 32nd and East R streets.

Armstead pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1 million bail.

Charges are expected to be upgraded now that Seibold has died.

Police do not believe Armstead knew Seibold or his uncle, and that the shooting was something of a misunderstanding.

Seibold, his uncle and another man had just left a casino but stopped driving so Seibold could argue with a group of people.

At the same time, Armstead was walking toward the casino with a shotgun hidden beneath his clothes that he allegedly found at a park.

He heard Seibold and the others yelling and believed they were speaking to him.

Witnesses said Armstead showed up “out of nowhere” and began shooting, according to charging papers.

He then hid beneath a vehicle parking in a backyard on East 32nd Street until a K-9 tracked him down and he was arrested.

Armstead later told detectives people in a Chevy Impala “began to shout vulgar statements toward him” and he thought the victims were going to “get him” so he fired several shots at the front of the Impala, prosecutors wrote in charging papers.

Two 12-gauge shotgun shells were found near the intersection.

Armstead was released from jail in June for a pending third-degree assault case.

In that case, officers said Armstead was yelling at vehicles near East 32nd and Portland Avenue, then ran into traffic and hit a window of one of the vehicles driving by.

Armstead screamed at police, lunged at a bystander in a crosswalk and tried to head butt one of the officers, records say.

At the time of this week’s shooting, there was a warrant issued for Armstead after he failed to appear in court.

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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