A Federal Way man has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting a homeless man in the face over stolen drugs.
Michael Le, 28, was charged with second-degree murder on Nov. 16, according to charging documents from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Le is being held in lieu of $2 million bail and his arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 29 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.
At about 6:43 a.m. Nov. 12, officers responded to Calvary Lutheran Church, 2415 S. 320th St., in Federal Way, for reports of a shooting. On scene, officers found a man who had been shot in the face.
The man was identified as 45-year-old James Sisk, who was fatally shot in the jaw. Bullet fragments lacerated his larynx and thyroid, branches of his carotid artery and were found lodged in his lungs, according to an autopsy by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Prosecutors said Le displayed “pitiless and remorseless behavior” on Nov. 12 when he was upset at Sisk on “misguided suspicion” that Sisk stole narcotics from him, according to charging documents.
Documents state that on Nov. 11 Le allegedly did drugs with some of the transient individuals on the church property before passing out. In the morning, he realized his inventory of fentanyl pills had been stolen, documents state.
Calvary Lutheran Church offers a daily sack lunch program to those in need, and “a sizable number of transient people camp in the parking lot surrounding the building,” according to the charging documents.
Le allegedly retrieved a gun from his Federal Way apartment and about five minutes before the initial 911 call, a white Infiniti vehicle parks in the church’s parking lot.
The two occupants exit the vehicle and speak to several people camping along the church’s property and “appeared to be looking for a particular individual,” according to charging documents. The vehicle’s passenger speaks to another transient person on site as the driver Le, with the gun at his side, is seen walking toward a building’s alcove where Sisk is sitting.
Charging documents state the conversation between Le and Sisk lasted only a few seconds before Le allegedly raises his pistol and fires a single shot at Sisk.
“Another of the church’s cameras showed Sisk kneeling on the ground, holding his hands in a prayer-like manner, and pleading with the driver/shooter before collapsing,” documents state.
After Sisk was shot, Le allegedly rummaged through his pockets, grabbed his collar and yelled at him, asking where his drugs were, documents state. He then speaks to several other individuals and points his gun at one of the transients before driving off. The passenger is seen on video walking away from the church.
The passenger later tells police Le “developed the impression” that Sisk had stolen the drugs and retrieved his gun to go back to the church and “make an example” of whoever stole his drugs, documents state.
Just hours after the shooting, officers located Le’s Federal Way apartment and a white Infiniti matching the suspect vehicle’s description. They observed a woman, identified as Le’s mother, removed a spike strip near the vehicle, move items inside the car and then remove garbage bags from Le’s apartment and vehicle.
Le exited the apartment and was arrested.
During a search of Le’s apartment, investigators found a 9mm pistol under the living room couch. The pistol’s magazine was loaded with multiple cartridges, with a fired cartridge case found lodged in the action, according to charging documents.