Former Kent football star fatally shot outside Halloween party

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by VANESSA VAN HYFTE / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 1, 2010 at 6:35 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 1 at 8:33 AM

KENT, Wash. - Devin Topps was last year's prom king at Kentridge High School, captain of his football team with a full football ride to Eastern Washington University.

But early Sunday he was beaten and shot to death.

"It was my fault," said Jose Gomez, who hosted the Halloween costume party.

Police say at 2 a.m., uninvited guests showed up outside of the house. Fights erupted and Topps was targeted.

"They were all on top of him, I was getting people off him and then I heard a gunshot," said Gomez.

Gomez says he doesn't know who shot his friend.

Sixteen-year-old Aallyah Topps is Devin's first cousin. Aallyah didn't recognize the shooters, but says it was no accident.

"They were sitting out here waiting for him. They were arguing over football."

Police say the football star was unarmed. He ran, but was shot near his truck.

Neighbor Scott Leeson saw everything. He saw Topps being hit before he was shot.

"Hit him about three times, pistol whipped him in the back of the head, he fell on a car, he just didn't have nowhere to go," he said. "It escalated down the road to where he spent his last moment, laying on the cold, rainy ground."

Leeson said he tried to help Topps as he lay in the middle of the road.

"I was holding his head trying to tell him that everything was going to be all right, he didn't have nothing to worry about, that help was on its way," he said. "Hopefully for that last minute it made him feel comfortable."

Police are looking for three or four males, of Asian or Hispanic descent, in their late teens to early twenties, as persons of interest.

"There's nothing at this time that indicates that it was gang related, nor is there anything that indicates that alcohol or some other type of substance were a piece of the party, in fact the party, it would appear, was monitored by an adult," said Sgt. Pat Lowery.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent Police Department at 253-856-5800.

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