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Originally published September 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM | Page modified September 18, 2012 at 6:10 AM

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Felon leaving prison is arrested in '08 slaying

Seattle police detectives arrested a 20-year-old felon as he was being released from prison Monday in connection with the slaying of Quincy Coleman, 15, who was fatally shot behind Garfield High School on Halloween night 2008.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Seattle police detectives arrested a 20-year-old felon as he was being released from prison Monday morning in connection with the slaying four years ago of Quincy Coleman, a 15-year-old who was fatally shot behind Garfield High School on Halloween night 2008.

The man, who has not yet been charged but was booked into the King County Jail on Monday afternoon on investigation of homicide, served almost 11 months for second-degree assault on a police officer and unlawfully possessing a firearm, according to court records. The Seattle Times typically does not name criminal defendants until they are officially charged.

The man was arrested as he was about to walk out of the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, Mason County, according to an item posted Monday on the Police Department's online blotter.

"He was scheduled for release and we were pretty much waiting for him at the front door," said police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb. "We're very grateful his only taste of freedom was a couple breaths of fresh air."

Whitcomb said the department's media unit waited to release information about the arrest until homicide detectives could deliver the news to Coleman's grandmother in person.

The suspect allegedly shared details about the shooting with friends and disclosed where he ditched a number of weapons, police said. Police divers later found four guns in Lake Washington near Mount Baker Beach Park, including one that matched the weapon used to kill Coleman.

Detectives also found video-surveillance footage of the suspect urinating on a memorial for Coleman outside of Garfield High School, according to police.

Coleman was one of eight young people killed in the area between January and November 2008, and their deaths were attributed to a feud between gangs in the Central Area and Seattle's South End.

Coleman, who had a long criminal history of residential burglaries, car prowls and drug violations, was a member of a Central Area gang, while the suspected killer was a member of a gang in Rainier Valley.

The deaths led to the creation of the city's Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.

Around 9:30 p.m. Oct. 31, 2008, Coleman and a group of friends were standing behind the high school when a silver Ford Taurus pulled up near the group along 25th Avenue. A gunman opened fire from the back seat, striking Coleman twice in the back. He died at the scene.

Another youth was shot in the wrist and abdomen but survived.

Police believe Coleman was shot in retaliation for the August 2008 shooting of Pierre Lapointe in Rainier Valley.

"It's pretty amazing. It speaks to the tenacity of the homicide detectives," Whitcomb said of the lengthy investigation, crediting tips from the public for helping solve the case.

Detectives "slowly, steadily" pieced together a "very clear, unmistakable picture of who killed Quincy Coleman," he said.

Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654

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