Burien Man Charged In Halloween Shooting Death Of Man In Kent
Late last week, the King County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against Jorge L. Lizarraga, 19, of Burien, who is accused of the shooting death of Devin Topps, 18, last Halloween at a party in Kent.
According to police reports, Lizarraga was with a group of young men gathered in the home’s driveway, and that he shot Topps after firing a pistol into the air. Topps was a top recruit for Eastern Washington University’s football program.
Detectives say that witnesses claim that Topps got in a fight with another man just prior to the fatal shooting. That fight was apparently continuing when Lizarraga came up and shot Topps in the back.
Police later searched Lizarraga’s motel room, where they found two pistols, and one, a 9mm gun stolen in a burglary four days before the Topps shooting, was determined to be the murder weapon.
Lizarraga remains in jail on $1.8 million bail, and a status hearing is scheduled for April 28 at 1 p.m. at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center.
Lizarraga is also facing several other current charges, including Unlawful Possession of a Firearm First Degree, Taking a Motor Vehicle Without Permission Second Degree, Vehicular Assault, Felony Hit and Run, Rape of a Child Third Degree, Communication With a Minor for Immoral Purposes, Residential Burglary, Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Possession of Methamphetamine.
Here’s more from our sister site The Waterland Blog (for Des Moines) posted Dec. 22, 2010:
Topps was shot outside an east Kent home while leaving a private Halloween party on Oct. 31st of this year. He was a coveted football recruit for Eastern Washington University’s football program.
The arrest culminated an early evening cat-and-mouse surveillance effort by police. Working with information developed by Kent Police Detectives, undercover officers went to the Kings Arms Motel in Des Moines on a tip that evidence of the crime would be located there. Shortly thereafter detectives identified and followed two cars associated to the crime leaving the area. One of those cars was stopped a short time later without incident. When Detectives attempted to stop the second car, the driver sped into a nearby residential neighborhood before abandoning the vehicle.
Police surrounded the area and while searching for the two occupants, saw another car driving away quickly. When they tried to stop that car, officers saw a passenger jump out and run away. A Kent Police canine team was called in to assist. It was during that search that an alert Kent Detective driving through the area noticed a man crossing a parking lot a short distance away. That man, wearing only a t-shirt and jeans, was contacted and eventually identified as the suspect.
“Our Detectives have been working on this senseless murder without rest,” said Kent Police Chief Steve Strachan. “It’s good to finally have a suspect in jail and see this case moving forward toward prosecution.”