A Seattle man has confessed to killing three people in Washington, including a gay couple in Seattle, saying he committed the murders as an act of revenge against American military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Ali Muhammad Brown, 29, had already been charged in the June murder of Ahmed Said, 27, and Dwone Anderson-Young, 23, who were gunned down after responding to a dating application meet up request Brown allegedly lured the men with, according to court documents. After police officials circulated Brown's photo as a suspect, he reportedly fled to New Jersey, where he shot and killed 19-year-old college student Brendan Tevlin. He was charged in that incident, but has pleaded not guilty.
And on Wednesday, prosecutors in King County, Wash., charged Brown with the point-blank shooting death of Leroy Henderson, a 30-year-old resident of Skyway, Wash., reports the Times.
According to that criminal complaint, Brown confessed to all three Washington murders, telling investigators that he carried out the executions as retribution for lives lost due to U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.
"My mission is my mission between me and my Lord. That's it," Brown told prosecutors during an interview at a New Jersey jail, according to court documents cited by the Times. "My mission is vengeance, for the lives, millions of lives are lost every day. … All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life."
Court records indicate that Brown "essentially executed" the gay couple, and killed each of his victims by shooting them at point-blank range. Police believe Brown stole a car and the murder weapon from the mother of his children, using the same gun in all four killings.
The Times reports that Brown told police he considered the murder of Tevlin, the New Jersey college student, a "just kill," and apparently took time to explain to prosecutors that he only targeted adult men and tried to make sure there were no women, children, or elderly people nearby during any of the attacks.
It's unclear whether Brown, who is being detained in New Jersey, will be tried in the Washington killings or the New Jersey killings first — but prosecutors are considering seeking the death penalty for the Washington murders. Similarly, prosecutors have not yet indicated whether or not they will seek an elevated hate crime charge for the targeted killing of the gay couple.