Prosecutors in Washington's King County say that a man accused of killing four people in two states — including two gay men in Seattle — was apparently seeking revenge on the Unites States for its military actions in the Middle East, according to court fillings.
King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg announced Aug. 20 that Ali Muhammed Brown, 29, was charged with aggravated murder in the April shooting death of a Skyway, Wash. man, Leroy Henderson. Brown was already accused of killing two gay men in Seattle and a 19-year-old college student in New Jersey in June.
Brown confessed to the four slayings, telling prosecutors that he was seeking "vengeance" against the U.S. for its roles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, according to the criminal complaint filed in court. During an interview with authorities while held in a New Jersey jail, Brown said, "My mission is vengeance, for the lives, millions of lives are lost every day," according to the documents.
"All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government," Brown said in the interview with authorities. "So a life for a life." Additionally, the criminal complaint states that Brown "strictly followed the Muslim faith" and that he told detectives that his mission was "between me and my lord."
In court earlier this month, Brown pleaded "not guilty" in the killing of a college student, Brendan Tevlin, in West Orange, N.J., where Brown fled after Seattle Police said he was wanted for the June 1 slaying of two gay men, Ahmed Said, 27, and Dwone Anderson-Young, 23, reported the Los Angeles Times. Brown allegedly lured the two men through a gay dating app and "essentially executed" them, according a previous criminal complaint from prosecutors. Brown told detectives in the interview he was "just doing my small part" by killing the four men.
Authorities arrested Brown on July 18 in West Orange, and said he was also wanted in connection with an attempted carjacking and armed robbery. A spokesperson for King County prosecutors told BuzzFeed on Monday it was still unclear when Brown would be moved from New Jersey to Washington to stand trial for the three murder charges filed against him — and if convicted, he could face the death penalty or life in prison there.
"The investigation in King County and New Jersey reveals that this defendant is responsible for a series of murders, none of which appear to be provoked, and all of which show an extreme level of violence," Satterberg said in a statement.
A message was left for prosecutors in New Jersey's Essex County seeking addition information.