Mon 6 Oct, 2003 08:47 am
Two men killed over missing bong
Witnesses of Mead shooting say suspect left party, came back with gun
Trinity Hartman Staff writer
A young man allegedly shot and killed two others at a house in Mead early Saturday.
Brandon W. Martin, who turns 19 Wednesday, was booked into the Spokane County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder.
Martin had been hanging out at the house at 11600 N. Sheridan and at one point became angry, reportedly accusing those there of stealing a glass drug pipe from his car, a witness said.
Martin left, got a rifle and came back shooting, Sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Dave Wiyrick said.
Thomas N. Morris, 24, and Donald Wade Corey, 18, were both dead when sheriff's deputies arrived about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Spokane County sheriff's detectives spent all day at the home carting away evidence, which included the house's front door. The Sheriff's Office did not release other details about the double homicide Saturday.
One man who was at the house during the argument and shooting, Shaun Housan, said the gathering of about eight people was calm until Martin became angry and accused those at the party of stealing a pipe used to smoke marijuana.
Martin left and said they better not be there when he returned. Martin came back a while later and broke down the front door to get in, Housan said. Morris was standing in front of it and was shot.
Morris was shielding his friends and took the bullet in the chest to save them, Housan said.
After the first shots were fired, those inside scattered -- two jumping out the window. Martin followed others downstairs and shot through the door, Housan said. Corey was hit in the neck, he said.
Martin busted through the basement door and was tackled. The others in the room took the gun and started hitting Martin, eventually pinning him down with the rifle and holding him until police came.
Housan said Martin offered no explanation, just reportedly said, "It's insane, isn't it?"
The home at Sheridan and Florence is in a residential area at the heart of Mead that has a mix of small houses and manufactured homes.
Neighbors allege that the house has been a party spot since it was rented nearly a year ago by a woman with a teenage son. The son was at the house, but was not one of the three people involved.
Neighbors said the woman is often gone and the house is a hang-out for teenagers looking to party.
Housan said the men who died were good people.
"I don't want them to sound like some punks who were kicking it at a party," Housan said.
Corey grew up in Mead and was well-liked, those who knew him said.
Morris grew up in Newberry, Mich., and followed his sister, Stacy Gabriel, to the Spokane area a few years ago. His sister said he had just gotten a job in Hayden Lake and planned to move to Idaho to get away from the people he hung out with.
"It's hard to imagine life without my brother. He was my best friend," Gabriel said. "He put on this big bad front ... but he was just a huge teddy bear."
Sherman Franklin, a lifelong Mead resident, said his son was friends with Corey. He tried to use the shooting as an opportunity to talk to his son about the importance of staying away from places where there could be trouble. "I think it will show him it could happen to anybody if you're in the wrong spot and are doing things that are stupid," Franklin said.
Several neighbors said they were not surprised Saturday, saying they've heard swearing and shouting, and seen fighting at the home.
"It's been unsupervised for quite some time," neighbor Chris Strong said. "It's too bad it came to this, but we're not surprised."
So last night a couple now young men showed up at my door asking me to do a candle light vigil tonight, prayers and a few words. I'll be opening up the Church and if they do not find someone to speak - I guess it's going to be me.
Irony in this is they - I know a number of them from coaching them in AAU basketball - guess they felt safe coming to me, and my wife from tutoring when they were very young.
I was looking for more information on Donny's murder and found this site.. If you're the one who did it, you did a great job on his memorial. Thank you for that. We were not aware of the memorial, until later. His friends set it up, and most of his family found out in the paper. However, I know it was very comforting to my family to know how many people were there, who loved and respected both of those boys. They had plenty of people to represent them.
Donny was my cousin, and my family is very unhappy with the media's portrayal of this as a 'drug crime'. This was several friends, ages 18 and up, getting together to welcome back another friend. No one at that house even knew Martin, except the owner. Donny and Tom tried to protect the people they did know and care about in a terrifying situation. They deserved better than the impression the newspaper articles left people with.
They deserved better than to die at the hands of a stranger, while spending time with their friends.
Welcome to a2k - I hope all things are getting better. That evening was amazing - was able to get 2 Pastors and music folks there - powerful evening. I learned alot that evening and since that I didn't know before.
wow and now the www feels alot smaller
I was thinking it felt pretty small when I found this link.. I was so grateful that their friends had thought to have that memorial service. His father, Donny Pat, told me that he was enjoying listening to stories told by the friends who loved his son. Even if he didn't know they'd loved him.
Nothing will ever make losing Donny the way we did easier - but knowing he died trying to protect the people he cared about at least made it marginally less a waste. Donny was a great kid, and knowing how many people he touched in his short life helps make accepting his loss a little easier.
If anyone is interested, here's another article that the paper put out after the Memorial Service:
It gave my aunt and uncle a chance to talk about what happened, and to counteract the initial article a little bit. Too many people still think this was about a wild drug party, thanks to that initial article. It wasn't, and it's kind of scary to think how powerful the media is. Especially when it's used carelessly.
I was just wondering. Are you the pastor at the church across the street from Donny and Sandi? The one where Donny Wade used to go to Sunday School?
That's okay - I was just wondering which of the pastors you were