Police: Seattle killing suspect obsessed about homelessness

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle man was so obsessed about homelessness and a perceived increase in crime in his neighborhood that he shot and killed someone he suspected of having broken a window in his apartment, authorities said.

King County prosecutors charged John Thomas Davis, 55, with second-degree murder Tuesday in last week’s death of 26-year-old Daniel Alberto, The Seattle Times reported . He’s being held on $1 million bail. The court docket for the case did not indicate Wednesday whether he had obtained a lawyer.

“Davis has harbored significant animosity towards the victim Alberto and the local homeless community for months,” senior deputy prosecutor Jason Simmons wrote in charging papers. “Davis was fixated on exacting consequences on the man who broke his window, Alberto, and made statements on several occasions that he might have to take matters into his own hands with regard to fighting crime.”

Authorities said Davis had previously confronted people while armed. Officers and dispatchers had warned him “he should refrain from hostilely confronting individuals whom he found bothersome,” the documents said.

According to the charging papers, Davis called 911 on July 28 to report that one of his windows had been broken by a local homeless person, prosecutors say. Over the next few weeks, Davis repeatedly called police about the broken window, and on Aug. 11, Davis called police to report that he had photographed the person who had broken his window.

The person in the photos was later identified as Alberto, investigators said.

In the week before the shooting, Davis had gone to the Fremont Fellowship Hall, a facility in North Seattle for people recovering from addiction. He complained about his broken window and told staff he wanted to have the suspect arrested, according to the charges.

Late Thursday afternoon, Davis was driving near the hall again when he spotted Alberto. He later told detectives he stopped his car to confront Alberto, and that he shot Alberto in self-defense after Alberto walked around the front of the car and approached the driver’s side window with a knife, the documents said.

Police said surveillance video showed that Alberto never walked in front of Davis’ car or prevented him from driving off, and that Davis had ample opportunity to leave. Instead, the video shows that Alberto was on the driver’s side of Davis’ car when the two men spoke. Alberto walked off behind the car and toward the Fellowship Hall before turning back “as if something suddenly called his attention to the car,” the charging papers said.

Alberto walked to the car’s front passenger window and was immediately shot, the documents said. Detectives found a small knife near Alberto’s body; officers said they knew him to sometimes act out violently.

Alberto’s housing status was unclear, The Seattle Times reported. Davis lives less than three miles (4.8 kilometers) from the shooting scene.


Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

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