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A 19-year-old man suspected by police in the shooting death of a man at a Bellevue bar early Monday was convicted in the 2009 fatal beating of the Seattle street musician known as “Tuba Man.”
The shooting occurred in the Mirror Lounge at Munchbar, a restaurant/bar at Bellevue Square, around 1:10 a.m., according to Bellevue police spokeswoman Carla Iafrate. About 600 people were inside the bar when about five gunshots were fired. A 30-year-old Seattle man was killed and another man injured.
Police said Ja’mari Alexander-Alan Jones is the suspected shooter, and obtained a warrant for his arrest Monday. His car is described as a white Nissan Maxima with Washington state license number AHZ1672. Police consider him armed and dangerous.
While it appears there was only one shooter, police haven’t ruled anything out, Iafrate said earlier Monday. Witnesses gave conflicting descriptions of the gunman, she said.
The identity of the dead man has not been released.
Iafrate said there is surveillance video from the scene and detectives “are working on all of those details.”
Witnesses described a chaotic scene, telling local media they dived for cover as gunfire erupted. Many people had gathered at the bar to watch the Seahawks game and celebrate the team’s blowout victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Several Seahawks were at the bar but were not in the area where the shooting occurred, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in a Monday news conference.
“From what we know, our guys were in a separate area, and nobody was involved at all,” Carroll said. “A very grave incident, but fortunately the guys that we are with are fine. They’re OK. It’s too bad. An awful thing that happened.”
Witnesses told KING 5 that the football players were in a VIP lounge and were escorted to safety after the shooting.
Reality-TV star Aubrey O’Day claimed she was with the players. Early Monday, she tweeted, “Seriously ppl just got shot n front of me. We hit the ground, never been in a situation like this. For real. Seattle, what’s going on?!”
Jones was one of three teens sentenced to juvenile detention after pleading guilty in April 2009 to manslaughter in the death of 53-year-old Ed “Tuba Man” McMichael. The musician was beaten during an October 2008 robbery near Seattle Center and later died of his injuries.
Another of the teens, in an unrelated case, is facing federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Billy Chambers could get a 10-year sentence, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine if found guilty.
Jennifer Leavitt, vice president of marketing for Kemper Development, said in a statement that the company is “deeply saddened” by the shooting inside Munchbar. Kemper Development owns Bellevue Square. Leavitt said the development company, run by chairman and CEO Kemper Freeman, is assisting Bellevue police with their investigation.
“The security and safety of our guests and employees are of the utmost importance and our number one concern and we will continue to work hand-in-hand with the police. Today, our thoughts and sympathies are with family and friends of the victim and those who responded to the incident,” Leavitt’s statement read.
Munchbar was closed on Monday while police investigated.
Iafrate said the shooting investigation did not impact holiday shopping at Bellevue Square.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Bellevue Police Department Tipline at 425-452-2564 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.