Police Arrested Suspect in Shooting of Tacoma Boxing Legend After Nationwide Manhunt

Police have detained a 27-year-old man in connection with the death of a Tacoma boxing star

According to the Tacoma Police Department (TPD), agencies initiated a countrywide manhunt for the culprit, which included the Pacific Northwest, New Mexico, and Arizona.

On February 17, the man reportedly shot a 52-year-old former boxing pro and instructor at a Golden Gloves boxing contest at Tacoma’s Oasis of Hope Center. The coach, identified as E.L. in court filings, had numerous gunshot wounds and was transported to a nearby trauma hospital for “urgent medical attention,” according to police.

Detectives discovered that there was an argument between members of competing boxing clubs prior to the shooting. According to the Tacoma News Tribune, the dispute began when the alleged gunman accused E.L. of treading on his shoe while inside the event. The argument escalated to the parking lot.

According to the Tribune, citing court documents, E.L. proceeded to his car to retrieve his firearm. However, a witness stated that E.L. never raised his gun, pointed it at anyone or discharged it. The disagreement continued, and the other man, who also possessed a firearm, began firing. Court filings show that a mob surrounded the coach, who was conscious and bleeding from his left leg.

According to the Tribune, E.L. informed detectives that he knew nothing about the shooter and had never met him before. He suspected the shooter was attempting to pick a confrontation with him because of his status as a former world boxing champion. The coach also told investigators that he stepped on the man’s shoe, and they argued.

The coach stated that he walked to his car but observed a man standing close with a weapon.

According to court filings, E.L. feared for his life and took his revolver from his car, which was still in its holster. As he was getting out of his car, he heard gunfire and felt a bullet strike him.

According to documents, the coach feared the man was attempting to kill him after hearing people close yell “not to do the champ like that.” A witness told police that the man was the instigator, and that E.L. “would not give in to someone trying to challenge him because of his status.” The witness also stated that E.L. is well-regarded in the community.

Police told the Tribune that the alleged shooter is a boxing club coach from Seattle. TPD stated that they are not disclosing the suspect’s identify at this time due to his involvement in other current violent crime investigations throughout the Puget Sound.

After reportedly shooting the coach, the suspect fled the state.

On March 13, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against the man. Pierce County Superior Court then issued an arrest warrant with a nationwide extradition request.

According to the Tribune, the individual had previously been convicted of burglary, assault, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The individual was tracked throughout the Southwest by law police in New Mexico and Arizona. According to the Tribune, the man was in New Mexico for a boxing contest.

The individual was apprehended by the US Marshals Service Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force on April 19 in Long Beach, Washington.

Officers found the man’s gun and placed him into Pierce County Jail. He faces assault and unauthorized gun possession charges.

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