$1 million bail set for suspect in double homicide in Central District
Bail has been set at $1 million for a 26-year-old man being held in connection with the fatal shooting of two men in Seattle on Sunday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Matalepuna Malu is being held in the slayings of two men.
The 26-year-old man suspected of killing two people in the Central District on Sunday called his brother, crying hysterically, shortly after the shootings, saying he had shot someone in the face, police say in court documents.
In a statement of probable cause released Monday, police wrote that detectives were investigating the double homicide that occurred near South King Street and 29th Avenue South when 911 dispatchers received a call from the brother of the suspect, Matalepuna Malu.
The brother said he had just received a call from Malu, who was “crying hysterically when he called” and explained he had just shot someone in the face and was positive the person was dead, police wrote in the affidavit. He said he was on the freeway somewhere — he didn’t know where — and needed a ride, police wrote.
“The caller said that Malu told him it started as an altercation, but things happened very fast,” the police statement says.
The caller told police he looked online while on the phone with his brother and asked if the shooting had happened in the Central District, which Malu confirmed, according to the police affidavit.
The caller then told police that he urged his brother to turn himself in, but Malu “didn’t want to hear that” and hung up.
Malu called his brother again later to say he was sorry and then a third time to say he was fleeing for California but wanted to say goodbye, the affidavit says.
After Seattle police released Malu’s name as a suspect in the shootings, Malu called police and said he wanted to clear his name and would turn himself in, according to the document.
About 4:15 p.m. Sunday, 3½ hours after the third call to his brother, Malu arrived at police headquarters and was standing outside when he was recognized by Assistant Chief Nick Metz and arrested.
On Monday, King County District Court Judge Anne Harper found probable cause to hold Malu in custody on investigation of two counts of first-degree murder and scheduled his next court appearance for Wednesday, which is also the deadline for prosecutors to file charges.
Bail was set at $1 million.
Though Malu waived his appearance in court, a handful of his family members, including his mother, attended the hearing at the King County Jail courtroom.
After the hearing, they declined to speak about Malu or the shooting. One relative said it would be useless to talk, as they did not “even know what happened yet,” but they went to court to let Malu know that they loved him.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified one of the victims as 27-year-old Ahmed Said, who died of multiple gunshot wounds. The identity of the second victim, a 23-year-old man, has not yet been released, according to police.
Seattle police said that while homicide detectives are still investigating the shootings, they do not believe they were gang-related. The victims did not have criminal histories and were not suspected of any wrongdoing, police said.
Malu, on the other hand, has had numerous encounters with the criminal-justice system, including incidents involving domestic violence, drugs and illegal firearms, court records show.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Malu was linked to a group that distributed OxyContin in the Everett area and, in 2011, he was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.
In the sentencing memorandum, federal prosecutors said Malu’s life was marked by drug abuse, drug trafficking, violence and illegal weapons possession.
In addition, he is under investigation in an assault case and is facing a harassment charge in Snohomish County. As a result, he is also under investigation for allegedly violating the conditions of his federal supervision, court records show.
Court records also indicate Malu was investigated in connection with the 2010 slaying of a 22-year-old man in Everett, but he was never charged in that case.
Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe said in an email Tuesday that the investigation showed Malu wasn’t involved in the homicide.
The police affidavit says Malu’s last known address was in Everett.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or email@example.com .
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report, which includes information from Times archives.