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Renton man faces murder, assault charges in Kent triple shooting

Arrested in Snohomish County for Sept. 19 attack outside Circle K gas station

A 39-year-old Renton man faces charges of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault for reportedly shooting three men on Sept. 19 at a gas station in Kent.

Kent Police and Valley SWAT arrested Joseph B. Dixon on Monday, Sept. 27 in Snohomish County after Dixon reportedly rammed unmarked police vehicles in a Safeway parking lot, according to charging papers filed Sept. 29 by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Three officers fired at Dixon and hit him once in the lower back. Paramedics transported him to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Dixon remained in satisfactory condition on Sept. 30 at Harborview, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Once released, he will be transferred to the county jail at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Prosecutors asked for bail to be denied or set a minimum amount of $5 million because the defendant poses a substantial likelihood of danger.

“In this case, the defendant is accused of shooting three individuals at close range, killing one person,” according to a statement from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. “When he was apprehended by police more than a week later, the defendant, who had a 4-year-old child and another passenger in his car, tried to escape by ramming into vehicles belonging to police and members of the public.”

Dixon is accused of killing Devon Hill, 23, who died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Dixon is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. on Oct. 13 in the General Courtroom at the Maleng Regional Justice Center.

Prosecutors also charged Dixon with unlawful possession of a firearm based on previous convictions in King County for second-degree robbery and residential burglary. He has 10 prior felony convictions, according to court documents.

According to charging documents, Dixon apparently knows one of the shooting victims and a relative of that victim reportedly tried to assaut Dixon two days after the shooting.

At about 1:18 a.m. on Sept. 19, Kent officers were dispatched to Meeker Street Bar and Grill, 1721 W. Meeker St., for multiple reports of a shooting, according to charging papers. Police found a small crowd in the parking lot surrounding two men who had been shot.

A 36-year-old man had four gunshot wounds. He told officers he was in his baby mother’s Cadillac SUV when a man shot him. He said he got out of the car and the man got in and drove the vehicle away.

A 23-year-old man had a gunshot wound to his shoulder. He told police that he and two other men came to Circle K, just east of the bar, to get gas. He said his friend, Hill, was still in the car and had been fatally shot.

Both men were transported to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.

Witnesses told police that a man appeared to be trying to steal the Cadillac and that shots were fired prior to the vehicle leaving at a high rate of speed westbound on West Meeker Street.

An officer was traveling on Reith Road at about 2:40 a.m. looking for the Cadillac when he was flagged down by a pedestrian about a man lying facedown in a gutter along 38th Avenue South. The officer observed a gunshot wound to the man’s head and he was deceased. That man was later identified as Hill.

Shortly after Hill’s body was found, officers a few blocks away found a Cadillac XT6 SUV parked unoccupied in the 3800 block of South 253rd Street. The driver’s side window was partially rolled down and there was a large pool of blood and a fired cartridge casing in the back passenger seat.

Detectives obtained a search warrant and found inside the car four fired .40 caliber cartridge casings, a fired .40 caliber bullet, a sandwich bag of what appeared to be heroin, and oxycodone pills with the brand name of Percocet, commonly referred to on the street as “Perc30’s,” according to police.

Detectives found a fingerprint on the driver’s side rear exterior quarter panel that they identified as matching a fingerprint of Dixon.

Surveillance video from residences in the West Hill area showed a man walking away from the Cadillac and later being picked up by a black sedan.

Detectives later interviewed one of the shooting victims who told them that on the night of the shooting they drove to Circle K to get wrapping papers for rolling marijuana joints. They were at the gas pumps for less than a minute when a man walked up, opened the rear passenger door and began firing into the vehicle.

On Sept. 20, detectives received a tip about a man bragging about robbing and shooting people and stealing their car and that the man was at the Morning Glory Motel in Bellingham. Police observed surveillance video of the man leaving the motel and getting into a Toyota Rav4. After circulating a bulletin to local law enforcement and reviewing jail booking photographs, detectives identified the man as Dixon.

Detectives located Facebook pages for Dixon and one of the injured shooting victims. They discovered the man was a Facebook friend with Dixon. They searched the injured man’s cellphone and less than three hours before the shooting saw text messages from a “Joe” requesting to meet.

Police also tracked down another sighting of Dixon on Sept. 21 at the Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn. Auburn Police responded to an assault after casino security broke up a fight between two men. One of the men, related to the shooting victims, found Dixon and reportedly assaulted him.

In a follow-up interview with one of the shooting victims, detectives asked the man if he knew Dixon. The man said he did but didn’t know why he shot at him.

Eventually, detectives tracked down Dixon in Snohomish County, although court documents did not disclose how they located him. On Sept. 27, police tried to take him into custody at a Safeway parking lot when he reportedly rammed his vehicle into unmarked police vehicles. SWAT officers fired shots at him and hit him once in the lower back.

Police took Dixon into custody and he was transported to Harborview Medical Center. Kent detectives tried to interview Dixon the next day at the hospital. When a detective asked him if he would willing to talk about the incident in Kent, he replied, “No, not without my attorney present.”

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