Tevin Geike, a 20-year-old Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier, was fatally stabbed Oct. 5. (via Facebook)
The three people arrested in the stabbing death of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., soldier were soldiers themselves, according to Lakewood police.
The slain soldier was Spc. Tevin A. Geike, a 20-year-old aviation operations specialist from Summerville, S.C. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-158th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division.
Police said at least two of the five suspects in the case are cooperating with law enforcement.
Lakewood police told the News-Tribune of Tacoma that investigators received a tip Sunday about a soldier who sought medical care for a knife wound to the hand.
The soldier told a told a friend that he cut his hand when he “stabbed a guy to death over the weekend,” police Lt. Chris Lawler told the newspaper. The story made its way to a sergeant who confronted the soldier.
The soldier allegedly claimed he cut his hand while chopping vegetables. He later told hospital staff he cut his hand while severing a parachute cord.
Detectives had been investigating whether the crime was racially motivated but said Monday that it does not appear that race was a factor.
Geike was walking with two friends early Saturday when a verbal confrontation developed with another group of people who drove by in a vehicle. Police say men from the car initially surrounded the soldiers but then began to leave. One of the suspects then appeared to bump into Geike as he walked past. That’s when Geike’s friends discovered he had been stabbed.
Detectives reportedly interviewed two of the soldiers believed to be in the car. Both allegedly admitted they confronted Geike and his friends but left once they realized they were also soldiers.
“The soldier told us that (the suspect) was covered in blood when he got in the car and they discovered he had stabbed the victim and cut himself,” Lawler told the News-Tribune.
The main suspect asked for a lawyer and refused to talk to detectives, Lawler said. A motive remains unknown.