Geike was reportedly celebrating the end of his military service in Lakewood with two other military friends, Matthew Barnes and Brian Johnson. While they were walking along Pacific Avenue Southwest, a car allegedly drove by and the passengers began yelling. “One of the guys in the back seat yells something like, ‘White,’ and, ‘Cracker,'” Barnes recalls. Barnes said he yelled back, “So this is how we treat combat veterans now?”
This prompted the car to reportedly return, with the Black men allegedly stepping out of the vehicle. According to Barnes, the men demanded that Barnes repeat what he said, to which he acquiesced. And while four of the men backed off, the remaining man allegedly stabbed Geike in the chest before they all escaped in a dark blue sedan.
Barnes immediately rushed to stop the bleeding. “I was sitting there, holding my hand on his chest, and then called 911 with my left, screaming at them and telling them exactly where we were and they need to hurry and hurry and hurry,” he said,
Johnson allegedly ran to get help, but by the time he returned, Geike was dead.
Watch news coverage of Tevin Geike’s murder here:
“We weren’t out looking for trouble, and trouble found us anyway.” Johnson commented.
Geike originally joined the Army in 2010. He was stationed at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, where he received training as an aviation operations specialist.
He’d been celebrating his imminent discharge at the Biltmore Motel earlier that night, friends said.
“I don’t understand how someone can do this — that man, he almost gave his life for people to enjoy the freedoms they have and he was just stabbed for no (expletive) reason,” said friend Glenn Zimmerman to KOMO News.
Officials are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“We are exploring the possibility that this could be a hate crime or racially motivated,” said Lakewood Police Lieutenant Chris Lawler. “We won’t know exactly what the motive is until we interview the suspects.”
The five suspects are all Black men in their 20s. The main suspect who stabbed Geike is believed to be in his early 20s and around 6’1” with a medium build. Lawler is confident he will be found.
“He’s going to get caught,” he said. “Nobody’s going to give up until we catch up.”