Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has charged Robert Deshawn Grott, 29, with murder in the first degree for the shooting death of Julian Jemar Thomas, 23, at a Tacoma convenience store. Grott’s brother, Rashaad Dominique Grott, 22, has been charged with rendering criminal assistance in the first degree for driving him to California after the murder. Bench warrants have been issued for their arrests.
"We are all sick and tired of violence like this," said Lindquist. "The defendant fired 46 rounds. We are taking him off the streets for as long as possible and we are working with law enforcement and the community to make our streets safe."
On Feb. 1 at 12:41 p.m., Tacoma Police received reports of a shooting outside the AM/PM convenience store at the intersection of Center Street and South Union Avenue. Thomas was found dead inside a bullet-riddled vehicle in the parking lot. Approximately 46 shots were fired, indicating the shooter reloaded twice. Thomas was struck more than 10 times. Witnesses provided police with a description of the shooter, who fled on a skateboard. Two bystanders had initially followed the shooter, but backed off when they became concerned for their safety.
After viewing witness photos and videos of the suspect, the victim’s mother told detectives she believed the shooter was Robert Grott. She said that Grott and her son had a dispute several months ago about a missing or stolen handgun.
Police served a search warrant at Grott’s home and found a case for a Glock 9 mm pistol, consistent with the shell casings recovered at the scene.
Grott’s mother, who lives in California, contacted Tacoma Police and explained that she was aware her son was wanted for murder. She believed her sons fled to California in Rashaad Grott’s vehicle.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.