Crime

Man found dead on Tacoma street identified

VIDEO: Eyewitness talks of finding body on Tacoma sidewalk

Ronald E. Brown said he stumbled on a body on a sidewalk along Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Tacoma, Washington, early Tuesday morning Nov. 3, 2015. Tacoma police are investigating the apparent shooting fatality. Video by David Montesino
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Ronald E. Brown said he stumbled on a body on a sidewalk along Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Tacoma, Washington, early Tuesday morning Nov. 3, 2015. Tacoma police are investigating the apparent shooting fatality. Video by David Montesino

Tacoma police on Tuesday were investigating the second fatal shooting in the city in less than seven hours.

Detectives released few details about the investigation into the death of 26-year-old Steven Speakman, whose body was found in the 1100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified Speakman, and said he was from Tacoma.

Police interviewed two men believed to have been with the victim before he died.

One was detained at South Sheridan Avenue and 17th Street after fleeing from detectives on a bicycle. The chase led through Stanley Elementary School’s playfield, where police said the man tossed a gun before being taken into custody.

A motive for the shooting remains unknown.

The victim was discovered about 6 a.m. by Ronny Brown, who has lived on Hilltop for 30 years. He said he had just walked his wife to work and was returning home when he saw a man lying on his back.

Brown said he approached, saw bloodstains on the sidewalk and nudged the man with his foot. It was then that he realized the man was dead.

He said he tried to call 911 but his cellphone was dead. Then he hurried to South 11th Street and MLK Jr. Way and stood in the busy intersection, waving his arms and shouting for someone to stop and help.

“I was out in the street for a solid 10 minutes and nobody stopped,” Brown said.

Eventually a man in a pickup truck pulled over to help, “like an angel,” Brown said.

Police do not believe the shooting is connected to a fatal shooting that occurred just before midnight on East 44th Street, where a teenager was killed and a 20-year-old man wounded.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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