The stabbing death of a soldier from South Carolina may be prosecuted as a hate crime, officials say.
KIRO TV in Washington reports 20-year-old Spc. Tevin A. Geike, from Summerville, S.C., died Saturday after a racial insult was shouted at three white soldiers by one of five black men in a passing car.
Geike, who graduated from high school in North Charleston, S.C., in 2010, had served in the military for three years and had no combat experience, said an Army spokesman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Lakewood, Wash., police said Geike and two fellow members of the 7th Infantry Division were walking alongside Pacific Highway when a vehicle approached and someone yelled at the soldiers. The pedestrians allegedly yelled back that soldiers should be treated with respect.
The soldiers told police the car stopped, turned around and five men got out of the car and surrounded them. A verbal confrontation ensued.
After learning the pedestrians were indeed soldiers, the driver of the car told his passengers to return to the car, police said.
One of the suspects appeared to bump Geike, who fell to the ground with multiple stab wounds. He died at the scene.
Geike was about to be discharged from the Army. He was getting ready to move off base in 5 days.
Police are looking for the suspects and a blue Jetta or BMW with tinted windows and low-profile tires. Investigators have recovered surveillance video, but it is not good enough to ID the suspects or the car. No arrests had been made by Sunday evening.
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