Police in Lakewood Washington say details on the murder of 20-year old Army Soldier Tevin Geike are coming into focus. Geike who was a native of Summerville, SC was stabbed to death in Washington State over the weekend.
When Lakewood Police first began the investigation there was speculation that it was a possible hate crime. After making three arrests, police have now learned that is not the case, in fact both the victim and the suspects have a lot in common-- they are all active duty Soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.
An Army career for Tevin Geike was not much of a surprise for those who knew him. Geike was a 2010 Graduate of Stall High and as soon as he arrived at the school he went straight to the ROTC program.
Program coordinator Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret) Lonnie Ford said, while quiet Geike was quick to shine. "Like most freshman he was fairly shy …but he developed over time. He graduated in three years, accelerated himself so that he could go and take part in life. He always wanted to enlist in the Army and always talked about that."
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Lt. Col. (Ret) Ford adds the 20-year old always kept his focus on the military and the ROTC even though at times it was not the most popular thing to do.
"He was willing to put the work in and he stood out because of it. Three years in a program, a program most kids turn their noses at, three years in a program most kids turn their back on. But he graduated early and went directly into the Army to wear the uniform again, there is not much more we can ask of him.
The Lakewood Police Murder Investigation
Investigators say the incident happened Early Saturday morning when words were exchanged between the group Geike was walking with and the suspects in a passing car.
Police say the suspects stopped the car but the situation seemed to quickly defuse once everybody learned they were all active duty soldiers.
But police say one suspect, Jeremiah Hill, appeared to quote "bear hug" Geike and dropped him to the ground. Police say others in the car, who are now cooperating with investigators, tell them, Hill got back into the vehicle covered with blood and that he cut himself stabbing Geike.
Geike died at the scene and police had few leads at the start. They were led to Jeremiah Hill by a Military Sergeant saying he knew something about the stabbing death, police later made the arrest.
The three suspects: Jeremiah Hill 23, Cedarium Johnson 21, and Ajon Runnion-Barefoot 21, are arrested on murder charges. They will have an arraignment hearing on Tuesday afternoon in Pierce County Washington.
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