TACOMA - Sgt. First Class Shawn Woods dedicated his career to risking his life for the country. The 34-year-old served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Second Infantry. He is described by a superior as a soldier who "placed the needs of others above his own."
Appearing in Pierce County Superior Court, fellow soldier 29-year-old Chase Devyver, an Army medic, and now charged with Woods' murder.
Early Sunday morning at a home in Puyallup's South Hill neighborhood, Devyver and his girlfriend had been arguing when he allegedly stabbed her in the back. Hearing her screams, Woods tried to intervene. Prosecutors say that's when Devyver turned on Woods and stabbed him in the chest.
Sgt. First Class Woods was a husband, father, and highly decorated soldier. He was set to retire this year from a military career that included the meritorious service medal and four army commendation medals.
Devyver is charged with second degree murder, attempted murder, and robbery for allegedly stealing his girlfriend's credit cards. He is also charged with eluding police for leaving the scene and leading officers on a high speed chase before he crashed his car and was arrested. The judge set bail at $2 million.
"We got up to go to church, moving the cars out and then we saw the detectives and the house taped off," said neighbor Pheocha Crawford. "It's so sad, really sad."
Devyver's girlfriend was stabbed in the shoulder blade. Police say her injuries are not life-threatening.
Woods' family and friends are mourning the highly decorated soldier, a man investigators believe gave his life doing what he was known for in the military: putting the needs of others above his own.