7/25/2014

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Friends of slain soldier 'infuriated beyond belief' suspect is also soldier

Friends of slain soldier 'infuriated beyond belief' suspect is also soldier
LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Friends of Tevin Geike, who were with the JBLM solider when he was stabbed to death Saturday night, say they're "infuriated beyond belief" that the 23-year-old man suspected of killing their friend was also a fellow soldier.

"I'm just disgusted with the fact it was a soldier - blue on blue - that's friendly fire," said Matthew Barnes, Geike's friend and fellow soldier who was there at the murder.

It was supposed to be a night of celebration among friends.

"We all just thought we were having a good night and that we were going to relax and have fun and celebrate him getting out of the military soon," said Amy Johnson, Barnes' fiancee who was also there at the murder.

Lakewood police say Geike was walking with his friends when a car drove by and someone inside shouted a racial comment toward the white soldiers. Authorities said the soldiers shouted something back, and a group of five black men from the car stopped and surrounded the soldiers.

Police said the men from the car began to leave but one of the suspects appeared to bump into Geike as he walked past.

Geike's friends say they had no idea the men who approached them were in the military and thought everything was fine. One of them gave Tevin a bear hug, the three men left and then suddenly Tevin was bleeding and dying.

"A lot of us just can't accept it," Johnson said. "We think we're just going to wake up and see him again ... but we know."

As for newly enlisted specialist Jeremiah Hill, who is now being investigated for murder: "He threw his life away and I bet he doesn't even have an answer why," said Brian Johnson, Geike's friend who was there at the scene. "So I pity him."

Police described Hill as the "main suspect" in the case and said he did not make a statement and asked for a lawyer.

Cedarium Johnson, 21, and Ajoni Runnion-Bareford, 21, were also booked into the Pierce County Jail on Monday, Lakewood police said. Based on information developed during the investigation, Lt. Chris Lawler of the Lakewood police said it does not appear the stabbing was a hate crime.

The two groups of soldiers did not know each other, police said.

All three suspects were expected to make an initial court appearance Tuesday. The other two in the group were cooperating with law enforcement and were not being held in custody, authorities said.

Meanwhile, Barnes says he want to look Hill in the eye, "and ask him: 'Why did he do this?' "

Geike was an aviation operations specialist and a member of the 7th Infantry Division. He entered the Army in October 2010 and arrived at JBLM in April 2011.
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