CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Murder, assault charges filed against alleged Alki shooter

(WSB photo)

That’s a photo of Tilorae Shepherd, the 22-year-old Federal Way man shot and killed at Alki on Monday night. Just before family and friends gathered at the beach this evening for a memorial, charges were filed in the shooting that took his life and injured three other people.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed a second-degree murder charge and two first-degree-assault charges against 19-year-old Milton Arnold III of Des Moines, who’s been in custody since shortly after the shooting. The charging documents tell the story of what witnesses told police happened that night.

First – the charging documents reveal that while Arnold has no history of criminal convictions, in addition to the domestic-violence arrest last November that we mentioned in our previous coverage, he was also facing possible charges in an incident less than two months ago. Federal Way police say Arnold and accomplices robbed two people at a park there, at gunpoint, then hit one of the victims in the face with his gun, and walked both into nearby woods – still at gunpoint – as they pleaded for their lives. Charges had not yet been filed in that case. One of Arnold’s alleged accomplices that day, prosecutors say, is an 18-year-old friend who was injured in the Alki shooting – the one who was allegedly driven to Harborview, with Arnold in the same car.

Harborview, you may recall, is where police found Arnold. But first, here’s what else is the charging documents:

First, the original assessment of the victims that night as being in their 30s was incorrect. Along with the 22-year-old who was killed, and the suspect’s 18-year-old friend who was wounded, the two other people who survived with gunshot wounds to their legs are described as a woman and man who are both also 22 years old.

One witness told police that those two had “confronted his group about using fireworks” – one 911 caller said the woman had been hit with one – and alleged that Mr. Shepherd came over to defend the man, and “displayed a gun.” Another witness said that the gun was in Mr. Shepherd’s waistband, and that while he lifted his shirt to show it, he did not pull it out nor use it in any other way. As noted earlier, there had been a 911 call about a dispute involving a gun even before shots were fired; then the calltaker heard gunfire while that caller was on the line.

The documents say officers found nine fired 9mm casings at the scene along with two .25 caliber casings

Witness and vehicle descriptions were circulated among police, and when officers got to Harborview Medical Center about 15 minutes after the shooting, they saw a gray BMW arrive with two women and two men. The latter were Arnold and his previously mentioned friend, who had a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Police saw two guns in the rear passenger seat where Arnold had been sitting. Arnold matched a description given by witnesses, so officers took him into custody and impounded the car. (The two women in the car were questioned and said they had gone to Alki with Arnold but weren’t with him when the shooting happened, nor did they know his friend who was wounded.)

The other man who was shot was interviewed by police at the hospital, He said he and the woman who was shot – his partner – were riding scooters at Alki when they ran into Mr. Shepherd, an acquaintance of his. A short time later, he said, a firework hit his partner in the head, They started confronting people nearby, trying to find out who was responsible. At one point when they were asking two men if they had seen who did it, Mr. Shepherd came up behind him. The other men reportedly said, “Don’t come over here with that s—t, don’t come over here with that,” and then, the shooting survivor said, one man pulled a pistol out of his pants and shot Mr. Shepherd from just a few feet away. The survivor started running, and that’s when he and his girlfriend were shot.

Police talked to her too; she said she and her boyfriend got into “a little confrontation” with people over the fireworks but worked it out and were walking away when the two men, believed to be Arnold and his friend, said something like, “why are you beefing with my people” – and then the argument heated up again, followed shortly thereafter by gunfire. She said the two men were with two women who matched the description of the ones who arrived at Harborview with Arnold and his friend.

In trying to sort out who was armed and who fired shots, police included additional information in the charging documents: No gun was found on or near Mr. Shepherd, but a Glock .357 SIG magazine was found on him. A relative later contacted police and said Mr. Shepherd may have had his Glock 32 Gen 4 pistol with him when he was killed and provided the serial number. No casings of that type were found at the scene, just the 9mm and 25-caliber ones mentioned earlier. Detectives believe all the 9mm casings were from the same gun.

Earlier today police got a search warrant for the impounded BMW. Inside it they found a Glock 32 – but with a different serial number than the one given by Mr. Shepherd’s relative – along with a Beretta that fires “the equivalent of” a .25-caliber round, and a 9mm “ghost gun,” made from different parts. Neither the Glock nor the Beretta had ammunition but the 9mm gun had a 21-round magazine with ‘additional live 9mm rounds.” They also found a blue hat similar to what witnesses had described, and a bloody white T-shirt.

A judge set Arnold’s bail today at $2 million. He remains in the King County Jail and will be arraigned later this month.

34 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Murder, assault charges filed against alleged Alki shooter"

  • Alki resident July 1, 2021 (8:24 pm)

    Arnold made those poor people in the woods think he was about to execute them. I can’t imagine what they went through. He clearly was an incredibly dangerous person . I’m so relieved he hopefully will never be in public again. RIp to Tilo. 

    • Black lives matter July 2, 2021 (9:22 pm)

      They didn’t  say he did it, you need to reread the article! That’s the problem just because they say something doesn’t mean someone did it. Don’t speak on something you don’t truly know innocent until proven guilty that’s what’s wrong with this system

  • Duffy July 1, 2021 (8:35 pm)

    We don’t need these idiots around our community anymore. Keep your guns and your stupidity away from our homes, our children and our safety.

  • Bill July 1, 2021 (8:57 pm)

    There is a go fund me to help support Tilorae’s family including young child and baby on the way:

    I’m very sorry for this huge, unnecessary loss.

  • East Coast Cynic July 1, 2021 (9:03 pm)

    The South King County knuckleheads seem to favor Alki as a place to cause mayhem.  Why not Greenlake?  Golden Gardens?  Is it the close proximity to South King County?  Or maybe they like to sing songs around the campfires and hang at the beach?

    • OnAlki July 1, 2021 (9:58 pm)

      Alki is the hardest to police and they know it.

    • trickycoolj July 1, 2021 (10:58 pm)

      It’s a straight shot up Marine View Drive/Old 99, why would they go up north?

    • Carole July 1, 2021 (11:01 pm)

      Or So King Co beaches…Saltwater or Dash Point. etc. Or just stop getting into your beefs at beaches, malls, stores, crowded sidewalks, family parties, anywhere there are totally uninvolved victims.  Stupid, immature people with guns and no self control. It apparently started with fireworks (illegal) hitting someone and then imagined “disrespect” and now he’s looking at a long jail term if convicted. If they add a gun enhancement it’s an additional 5 years with no good time, served first.  

    • Graciano July 2, 2021 (7:04 am)

      For one thing this whole incident was wrong, saddening and disrespectful to everyone involved including the surrounding people who live in the area and I agree  that 19 yr old Arnold the 3rd  should be locked up for life. And what a tragic thing at such a young age and for the family who lost another young person, Sheperd. But for you East Coast Cynic to classify people who live in So. King County as knuckleheads is also disrespectful 

    • T.S. July 3, 2021 (5:56 pm)

      I heard there have been a lot of issues at Golden Gardens too.

  • Ben July 1, 2021 (9:10 pm)

    It’s illegal to own a handgun at 19 right?Lock this loser up for life.

    • Echo July 3, 2021 (1:32 pm)

      <p> Reading the comments it is fairly apparent to me that most people do not know that locking up juveniles for life was deemed “cruel and unusual punishment” and therefor unconstitutional. </p><p> I hope in this case they make an exception. There is zero reason, reading the article, that a gun should have been involved, much less four people shot and one person dead. It is a damn tragedy. </p>

  • StopCuttingDownTrees July 1, 2021 (9:24 pm)

    Why wasn’t Arnold charged and held on $2 million bail for the HORRIFIC armed robbery and armed kidnapping in Federal Way just weeks ago? Had the King County Prosecutor’s office charged him, he would’ve been sitting in jail awaiting trial instead of out murdering people.  

    • WSB July 1, 2021 (9:48 pm)

      I don’t know anything more about that case than the charging document mentions in passing. It describes the case as a “pending felony referral” but whether that means Federal Way police referred it to KCPAO, or whether KCPAO is still waiting for the referral (they can’t make a charging decision until an investigative agency sends everything they’ve got), I don’t know. While it happened in May, he’s only on a jail roster for one day at SCORE – the South King County municipalities’ jail – in early June, so I suspect there’s a lot more backstory. Hoping I’ll be able to talk to KCPAO tomorrow; these documents did not come from them tonight (often KCPAO will send media charging documents in high-profile cases proactively), I found them in the system independently.

    • Jort July 1, 2021 (10:02 pm)

      It will be very hard for people to blame Kshama Sawant and the Seattle City “Clowncil” for a delayed prosecution from the noted hive of revolutionary communism: Federal Way. I assume people will try, though! 

    • CAM July 2, 2021 (12:26 am)

      He wasn’t held in jail because he has still not been charged with a crime for that and while prosecutors have alluded to his potential involvement that can frequently lead to no charges ever being filed. You are very privileged to live in a country with laws that say you cannot be held in jail against your will by the government without being charged with or convicted of a crime. 

      • Resident July 2, 2021 (4:31 pm)

        I think the point they were trying to make was that he should have been charged and locked up and he wasn’t. Question is why wasn’t he charged and locked up?

        • WSB July 2, 2021 (4:36 pm)

          I followed up with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The case was not referred by the Federal Way PD to the KCPAO until the end of last week. If a case isn’t referred, charges can’t be filed. If a suspect is not charged, they cannot be held indefinitely. – TR

  • Firearms July 1, 2021 (9:51 pm)

    How were the firearms and magazines obtained? Legal purchases?

    • WSB July 1, 2021 (9:59 pm)

      Not mentioned in the documents.

      • Alki sloop July 2, 2021 (7:40 am)

        As a close resident to Alki I feel like there should be neighbors flooding the streets en masses and parking early on the day all along there so there’s no room got jackasses . Fill up the boardwalk with grandmas and such. I agree go party somewhere else 

        • alki_2008 July 2, 2021 (6:03 pm)

          This didn’t happen during the day. It happened at midnight.  Grandmas are in bed, not on the boardwalk, at that hour.  No reason to think that people causing trouble are spending all day on the beach. They could and probably come to Alki at night because there aren’t many other places to hang out at that hour.

    • scubafrog July 2, 2021 (2:53 am)

      Gun show maybe, or via private party perhaps.  There are a plethora of loopholes that protect sellers, and don’t require background checks/ID checks.  Republicans/NRA love this.  To carry a handgun, or buy one from a store, you have to be 21 (non-felon/no domestic violence), and possess a CPL ‘Concealed Pistol License’ for the carry facet.  Or open-carry.  One can buy an AK-47, AR-15 or any long rifle at 18.  We live in an open-carry state, 18 year olds+ can open-carry said rifles.  No one needs a permit to open-carry in Washington.  

    • Tyr1001 July 2, 2021 (7:08 am)

      Considering Arnold and his friend are both under 21, they could not purchase them legally. They would’ve been obtained on the street or a straw purchase

  • Marianne July 2, 2021 (10:22 am)

    So, Tilorae was shot and killed supporting two people who had fireworks thrown at them by Milton Arnold lll?  Did Arnold also shoot the two people who he had thrown fireworks at?  Did he then also shoot his own friend?  

    • WSB July 2, 2021 (11:17 am)

      The charging documents don’t suggest who exactly threw the fireworks. They contain a somewhat tangled string of witness interview summaries and I untangled it the best I could. But thank you for pointing out one omission – I mentioned the two assault charges but not who they referred to. Milton Arnold III is specifically charged with murdering Tilorae Shepherd and with shooting the man and woman who confronted Arnold and others after the woman was allegedly hit by a firework. No charge covers the shooting of Arnold’s friend, only mentioning that he had been shot and that he and Arnold ran from the scene together (and then arrived at Harborview in the same car).

      • Bradley July 2, 2021 (3:35 pm)

        alleged that Mr. Shepherd came over to defend the man, and “displayed a gun.” Another witness said that the gun was in Mr. Shepherd’s waistband, and that while he lifted his shirt to show it, he did not pull it out nor use it in any other way. As noted earlier, there had been a 911 call about a dispute involving a gun even before shots were fired; then the calltaker heard gunfire while that caller was on the line.Not helpful  

        • alki_2008 July 2, 2021 (6:06 pm)

          You saying that WSB should only includes the bits from the official documents that you think are “helpful”.  No. That is how news becomes biased.  All facts, whether you like them or not, should be included.

  • Alyssa July 2, 2021 (2:54 pm)

    Pulling up your shirt to show someone your weapon can be perceived as a threat…

  • Blessings July 2, 2021 (8:17 pm)

    Sad for the kids who have been impacted in this. Best wishes for them. Hope they have a lot of love and support, to help them heal and be strong, after such a loss and adversity.

  • Ws prayers July 3, 2021 (11:26 am)

    So both parties had guns?? It appears another i dont know how else to describe a culture of youth “thug” mentality. Both felt threatened. Both had guns. I feel for all people involved and our community prayers we can somehow stop violence- its literally killing people terroizing our neighborhood its so unessasry. Sad. Tragic. For all involved 

    • NotAFearfulAmerican July 11, 2021 (7:17 pm)

      Perfect example of how easy people get manipulated to buy guns thanks to Charles Koch and his paranoia media.

  • Reader July 3, 2021 (11:46 am)

    The Seattle Times is reporting a couple  differences to WSB’s excellent coverage of this quickly evolving story.
    In today’s piece Seattle Times has the Glock serial number confirmed by the relative of Shepherd, not different as WSB?
    And they report the handgun was seen in Sheperd’s hand before the shooting, leaving out witness claims of it only being revealed in waist-band by lifting shirt?
    Since this was the Glock found in the BMW of Arnold’s group, is it plausible to assume that one of them took the Glock from Shepherd during or after the shooting?

    • WSB July 3, 2021 (3:10 pm)

      That would sound like a plausible theory regarding the Glock BUT these are the exact passages from the charging documents.

      Regarding pointing a gun, no, there is absolutely no passage in the charging documents that states a gun was seen in the hand of Mr. Shepherd; there are two references to him “displaying” a gun, and both are very clear that the displaying did not involve a gun being in his hand.

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