Accused Munchbar shooter linked to 'Tuba Man' killing

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 24, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 24 at 9:20 PM

Bellevue police have issued an arrest warrant for 19-year-old Ja’mari Alexander Allen Jones, the man suspected of shooting two people, killing one, at the Munchbar in Bellevue early Monday morning.

Bellevue police also confirm Jones was one of three teens responsible for the 2008 beating death of Ed McMichael, a beloved Seattle figure known as "Tuba Man."  McMichael, who played his tuba outside of Seattle sports and entertainment venues, was robbed and severely beaten at a bus stop near Seattle Center in October 2008. He died about a week later.

Police describe Jones as 5'8" tall and about 140 pounds. They also believe he may be driving a white Nissan Maxima with Washington license plate AHZ 1672. Police say Jones is armed and dangerous and advise people to call 9-1-1 immediately if he is spotted.

Investigators said around 1 a.m. Monday, a gunman opened fire inside Munchbar, a popular Bellevue Square restaurant and bar. Witnesses said at least five shots were fired, forcing more than 600 people inside the third floor outside in a panic.

"People started jumping over the railing of the bar, and I ran into the back, like behind in the kitchen," said witness Dejuan Loston.

Early reports indicate that there were several altercations that led up to the shooting, but Bellevue Police Department spokeswoman Carla Iafrate said called it an "isolated incident." When the chaos cleared, a 30-year-old Seattle man was found dead and another man was injured.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that several Seahawks players were in the bar at the time, celebrating Sunday's win against 49ers, but were not involved in the shooting. Witnesses said the players were in a VIP lounge and were escorted to safety after the shooting.

26-year-old Becka was with the group of Seahawks players when she heard the round of shots.

“We stayed low and (the Seahawks players) acted as protection for all the girls. They put their arms around us and guarded us,” said Becka.

Other witnesses described a chaotic scene, telling media they dove for cover or hit the floor when they heard the gunshots. Becka, who recently received her nursing assistant degree, ran to help the 30-year-old man.

“I started chest compressions and did it until the paramedics came,” she said.

Despite the efforts, the man died at the scene. Police aren’t saying what his connection to what the shooter may be or what prompted the night of celebration to turn violent.

Bellevue police is asking with information about the suspect to call 911. You can also call the tip line at 425-452-2564 or pdtipline@bellevuewa.gov.

Bellevue Square was open for regular holiday business Monday, but officials say it may be a few days or more before Munchbar reopens.

KING 5's Chris Daniels contributed to this report.

 

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