Crime

Three charged in fatal Hilltop shooting

Tacoma police had arrested two people and were looking for another Tuesday in connection to the fatal weekend shooting in the city.

Jasiah Inpeace Tolbert, 16, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder and drive-by shooting in connection to the death of 19-year-old Philip Ryan Jr.

Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $1 million.

Isiah L. Cavitt, 17, and Arkeats Lintel Ross, 19, are charged with second-degree murder in Ryan’s death. Ross was booked into jail Tuesday, and Cavitt had a warrant for his arrest.

Pierce County prosecutors were still making a charging decision regarding a fourth person believed involved in the shooting, a 15-year-old boy.

Charging papers give this account:

Tolbert was waiting at home Saturday for a rival to arrive to have a fist fight. He had some friends come over, including the two others charged, the 15-year-old and another person police hadn’t yet identified.

The rival didn’t show, and the others asked Tolbert for a ride to South 19th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

While driving about 1 p.m. down MLK, near South Ninth Street, the 15-year-old told Tolbert to pull over. Everyone got out of the car, and walked across the street to the small group of people at a bus stop.

Tolbert recognized Ryan, and greeted him. Then the 15-year-old confronted Ryan and accused him of sexually assaulting a family member.

Asked Tuesday, deputy prosecutor Greg Greer said there was no evidence Ryan had hurt the teen’s family member.

Witnesses in the vicinity said the shooter called Ryan by name and accused him of the assault before pulling out a handgun and shooting him.

People who had been with Ryan scattered. Ryan tried to run, then spun and collapsed in the street. He died from gunshot wounds to his upper back. One went through his heart and a lung.

One witness said the shooter looked 18 or 19. Another said he looked like a man in his 30s.

A driver stopped at a light nearby got a partial license plate number of the car the shooter arrived in, and the same day police determined the vehicle belonged to Tolbert’s family.

The teen was arrested after police pulled the car over while he was driving.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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