Warrant issued for suspect in Tacoma gas station murder; may have fled to California

TACOMA -- Pierce County prosecutors have charged 29-year-old Robert Deshawn Grott in the murder of 23-year-old man earlier this week at a Tacoma gas station.

Authorities have issued a warrant for Grott's arrest. It is believed that his brother, Rashaad Dominique Grott, drove him to California after the murder. He is now charged with rendering criminal assistance.

A man was found shot to death inside a car at an Arco gas station at the corner of Center St. and S. Union Ave. around 12:45 p.m. Monday.

Officials identified the victim as 23-year-old Julian Jemar Thomas. He was wounded by ten bullets.

Witnesses gave police a description of the shooter who fled the scene on a skateboard. Two bystanders had initially followed the shooter, but backed off after becoming concerned for their safety.

"We are all sick and tired of violence like this," said Prosecutor Mark 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."

The victim's family says Grott and Thomas had a dispute a few months ago about a missing or stolen handgun.

Police served a search warrant at Grott's home and found a case for a pistol consistent with the shell casings recovered at the scene.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Authorities believe Grott and his brother may be in California. Call 911 immediately if you see him.

A fundraising page has been set up for the victim's family.