Given the backlog at the Washington State Crime Lab, months may pass before authorities can say exactly what happened during the gunfight that killed 20-year-old Noah Malik Nettles of Federal Way on June 28 at Belara at Lakeland Apartments.
Like, what happened, who among the four men involved started what, and if there is even a suspect in what could very well turn out to have been an act of self-defense.
Nettles died at the scene, according to Auburn Police. Two of the men were transported to MutliCare Auburn Medical Center with minor gunshot wounds, and a third, whose condition remains unknown, was transported to Tacoma General with serious injuries.
“That status of the case is we’re going to wait for everything to come back from the crime lab, and then the detective will package everything up and send it to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office to what they will charge people with. Right now, all indications are if they file charges, it will probably be some sort of weapons charges on the people who were there,” said Auburn Police Cmdr. Steve Stocker.
None of the persons involved in the shooting were supposed to have guns, Stocker added.
“We recovered some guns out of a couple of traffic stops on the night this occurred. Whatever guns that we have, and whatever bullets we have from the body and what not, they are still at the lab. Right now, no one is being charged with anything. Our detective doesn’t know if the guy who was taken to Tacoma is out of the hospital yet and hasn’t talked to him yet, but based on the statements we have so far from people, he probably would have a good case for self-defense.”
Police responded to the shooting at 6180 Terrace View Lane SE in Auburn at about 9:45 p.m that day.
“We recovered some guns out of a couple traffic stops the night that it actually occurred, and with whatever guns we have and whatever bullets we have from the body, they are still at the lab being checked … Right now, nobody is under arrest because detectives are still trying to sort out what happened, who started what, and if there is a suspect, which one it is, because our suspect may be the person who is deceased, or he may be the person who is still at Tacoma Hospital,” Stocker said. “We’re still trying to figure out what the relationship was between the people involved.”