Killer sought in attempted robbery, shooting in Lakewood motel

Willie Carter, a convicted killer, is wanted for allegedly trying to rob a man in a Lakewood motel.
Willie Carter, a convicted killer, is wanted for allegedly trying to rob a man in a Lakewood motel. Courtesy

A convicted killer charged with trying to rob a man in a Lakewood motel is being sought after eluding police for more than a week.

A warrant has been issued for Willie Carter, 28, who is described as armed and dangerous.

He and two others allegedly lured a man into a hotel room, tried to steal his necklace and shot him twice in the back. The man is expected to survive.

The three, all felons, are charged with first-degree assault, attempted first-degree robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Willie Lee Joyner, 26, and Alexander Sharp, 28, have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Joyner is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. Sharp is jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Charging papers give this account of the incident, which took place about 7:30 a.m. July 20 at a motel in the 9900 block of South Tacoma Way:

Sharp lured the victim into a motel room and the men inside asked where he was from and demanded his necklace.

The victim charged one of the men and they fought over a handgun. Joyner, who was not involved in the fight, shot the victim twice in the back.

Several people in the motel room ran out.

The victim, who said he’d brought a gun “because he knew something bad was going to happen,” fired several shots at Carter, Sharp and Joyner as they ran through the parking lot.

A woman who had been inside the motel room drove Joyner and Carter away from the scene.

Sharp was taken into custody after seeking medical treatment for a serious knee injury that occurred during the fight. Joyner was arrested leaving his house.

“Joyner said he shot the victim because he knew he had a gun,” records show.

A cellphone found on a sidewalk outside the motel room was traced to Carter. Photos on the phone showing several distinctive tattoos helped police identify Carter.

Carter has a large bird tattooed on the front of his neck, a crucifix between his eyes, full arm sleeves and “RIP Vonte” on his right hand.

A fugitive team tracked him to a Tacoma home this week but he escaped out a back window as police moved in.

Carter’s violent background worries police, who are asking for the public’s help in tracking him down.

In 2005, he was charged with first-degree murder in New Orleans for fatally shooting a man during a drug deal. He remained a fugitive for four years before being captured and standing trial.

Carter pleaded guilty to manslaughter through a plea deal because of a lack of witnesses, officials said.

He is 6 feet and 160 pounds. Anyone who sees him is asked to call 911.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653