On Friday, April 21, 2023, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged James-David Joseph Algarin, 36, with two counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree, alleging that he stalked – and shot – homeless women in Kent.
Each count includes a firearm enhancement.
King County Prosecutors asked for Algarin to be held on $1.5 million bail. The Court agreed.
“In this referral, the defendant stalked homeless women at night around Kent for the purpose of propositioning them for sex, then shooting them,” charging documents said. “Although the defendant has no significant criminal history, his premeditated search and hunt for homeless women in Kent resulted in the shooting of both women in one night and close in time. The defendant used a pistol at the first shooting and then re-armed himself with an AR-15 rifle to shoot his second victim. The fact the defendant lured both women into darkened areas of Kent at night equipped with two different types of firearms and without provocation shot both women is very concerning.”
Police say that this case was solved partially due to Detectives investigating into several unique decals found on the suspect’s car.
Kent Police arrested the suspect near Sea-Tac Airport on Thursday, April 20, 2023.
“We appreciate the work of Kent Police in this year-long investigation,” Prosecutors said.
Algarin’s next court appearance is his arraignment on May 4 at the MRJC in Kent.
Charges against Algarin allege that he committed a series of acts that attempted to cause the death of two women, with premeditated intent to cause their deaths on April 14, 2022.
Charging documents allege that on April 14 at approximately 11:01 p.m., officers with the Kent Police Department responded to the Lincoln Street Park and Ride, after a 911 call was placed by witnesses who reported they heard at least one gunshot and observed a red passenger car leaving the park and ride afterwards.
Here’s more from the charging docs:
A Kent Officer was the first to arrive where he contacted a female witness who was seated in her vehicle in the north end of the park and ride. The witness indicated that a man had come to her and asked her to call 911 because he found a female in the lot that had been shot. The female witness then pointed so the south and directed the Officer to an area of the park and ride where the male had indicated the victim was located.
The Officer then searched the area of the park and ride identified by the witness. During his search he located a victim lying in one of the raised landscaped areas on the east side, who was moaning and told the Officer that she had been shot. The Officer observed the victim’s clothing to be bloody and began providing her with medical aid. During this time, he located what he believed to be a gunshot on her right ribcage and another in the middle of her back. He applied pressure to the wounds and while doing so, asked her who had shot her. She was only able to tell him that “the man” had shot her before becoming too hysterical to provide any additional infonnation.
Medics with Puget Sound Fire then arrived and transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of potentially life-threatening gunshot wounds. During their initial response, Kent Police Patrol Officers searched the area where the victim was located but were unable to locate any cartridge casings or other items of evidentiary value.
Kent Police Detectives responded and conducted interviews of several witnesses who were in the parking lot of the park and ride at the time the victim was shot. They witnesses described hearing a distinct loud pop and bright flash of light consistent with a gunshot being fired, followed by a red passenger car leaving the area of the apparent gunshot in the park and ride. They describe the same red vehicle returning to the parking lot sometime later and the sound ofa second pop and flash of bright light coming from the vehicle which was stopped in the area of the park and ride where Jackson was discovered shot. The witnesses stated that the vehicle was occupied by at least one male driver and stated that the suspect vehicle was a bright red 4-door sedan with tinted windows, dark rims, and two white softball sized decals on the top comers of the rear window with some type of white stripe or discoloration on the sidewall of the driver’s side rear tires.
This victim survived her injuries and was later interviewed by Detectives on several different occasions. She was traumatized and would become emotional as she attempted provide her account of what happened. She stated that she remembers being picked up by a male subject near the 7-11 at 511 Central Ave S., in Kent. She said that the male was driving a dark color vehicle and described him as possibly being Asian with a mature build and almond shaped eyes. She said that after entering the right front passenger seat of the vehicle she noticed that the male driver had a gun holstered on his right hip. This caused her some alarm, so she asked the male if he was going to shoot her. She said that the male responded, “Yeah, I agree to that, I will not shoot you.”
She explained that at one point, the male exposed his erect penis and told her, “I just want you to make me feel good.” She said that she became disgusted at the sight of the male’s “abnormal” penis which she said reminded her of a “canine penis” and said that the male did not offer her anything in exchange for any sexual act and believed he was genuinely trying to be romantic with her. She said she apologized and told him that she couldn’t continue and needed to go. She stated that after saying this the male became very upset and said something to the effect of “stupid bitch!” She then got out of the vehicle as it was parked at the park and ride and only made it a few steps away from the car when she was shot. She described how she felt the bullet go “through” her and that she believed she was going to die. She said that the male left after shooting her and at one point, thought he was coming back so she crawled into a bush to hide. She said that she then remembered hearing another shot but did not think that she was struck by that bullet. She told Detectives that she was unable to identify the male who shot her in any type of photo line-up.
Thirty-six minutes later, Kent Police Officers were dispatched to a second shooting victim who was found lying in the street in the 200 block of E. Saar Street, just behind the Enterprise Rent-A-Car at 327 Central Ave S. This victim was found suffering from numerous gunshot wounds by a passerby who then called 911. The passerby advised responding officers that they did not witness the shooting and only happened upon the victim while walking by.
Kent Police Officers arrived and located the victim lying in the street, suffering from several gunshot wounds. She had what appeared to be at least one gunshot to the back of her head and two additional in her left buttock and lower left leg, but was conscious at this time. They began providing her medical aid to include applying a tourniquet to her left leg and gauze to her head. While treating her they asked her if she knew who had shot her, but she only replied, “no.” The trauma to her head seemed to disorient her and made it difficult for her to communicate with Officers. Medical personnel with Puget Sound Fire arrived and transported her to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of her potentially fatal wounds.
During their initial response, officers located a total of six .223 spent cartridge casings on E. Saar Street, about 30 feet west of where this victim was found shot. The casings appeared to be fresh although 3 of the 6 had been run over and damaged by fire personnel vehicles. All 6 of the casings had the headstamp of “LC” and were lying in the roadway. Washington State Patrol Crime Lab would later confirm that all 6 of the recovered casings had been fired from the same firearm.
Due to the severity of her injuries and trauma she received, the second victim was unable to be interviewed until June 2, 2022. On that day Detectives responded to Harborview Medical Center where she was still being treated for her wounds. They were able to conduct an interview with her at that time, but she was unable to recall any pertinent details about the shooting.
Early in the investigation, it was not known whether the shooting of the victims were related or two isolated incidents. Detectives responded and canvased the area where both shootings occurred and collected surveillance video from numerous businesses and private residences. No surveillance footage of value was located in the shooting of Victim 1; however, there was surveillance video that captured the shooting of Victim 2, which took place behind an Enterprise Rent-a-Car that was equipped with numerous surveillance cameras, one of which was pointed at the location where she was found shot. Police conducted an initial review of the surveillance video obtained from Enterprise as well as a nearby 7-11 in an effort to determine whether a red sedan with white decals on the back window as described by the witnesses of the shooting was involved.
During a review of the surveillance video, an Officer observed a bright red Subaru 4-door WRX in the area of Central Ave S. and E. Willis Street. The red WRX had dark tinted windows, along with three distinct white decals on the top of the rear windows, decals on both the rear quarter windows, and custom white lettering on the sidewalls of all 4 tires. The decals were placed in the location on the vehicle as described by witnesses and was almost an exact match of the vehicle described by the combined witness descriptions. The surveillance video shows the WRX circulating the area before pulling into the parking lot of 7-11 at approximately 2142 hours. The vehicle pulled into a parking space in front of the 7-11 but the driver never got out of the car nor can you see them through any of the vehicle’s windows. The vehicle does not have a front license plate as required by Washington state law.
Almost immediately after parking, the driver appeared to get the attention of the victim, who was standing in front of the 7-11. At the time, the victim looked over toward the WRX but appeared to be waiting for somebody who was inside of the store buying her food. After a few minutes, she walked over and stands next to the driver’s door and appears to have a conversation with the driver of the WRX through the partially rolled down driver’s door window. About 1 minute later, she can be seen walking away from the car. The WRX remained parked there for several more minutes until it backed out and drove around the north side of the store where it came to a stop. The victim is then seen walking over to the WRX and entering the right front passenger seat of the vehicle. At 2152 hours, the vehicle then exited the parking lot onto eastbound E. Willis St with the victim still riding in the passenger seat. The next contact with her is when Kent Police Officers locate her shot in the parking lot of the park and ride, which is located approximately .60 mile away from the 7-11 store.
The Officer continued to review the footage and discovered that at approximately 2259 hours, surveillance video captures WRX returning to the 7-11 where it can be seen entering the parking lot from eastbound Willis St. The WRX drives straight through the parking lot where it exits onto southbound Central Ave S. Surveillance video continues to capture the red WRX circulating the area until it sees (MD) walking on E. Saar St between Central Ave Sand Railroad Ave S. The driver of the WRX appears to call to (MD) who then stops and begins speaking to the driver at the driver’s door. This contact lasts approximately a minute and a half before( MD) walks away from the vehicle eastbound on E. Saar St. After she walked about 20 feet, the driver of the WRX exits the car and fires two rounds at (MD) while standing between the open driver’s door and the vehicle. Both rounds appear to miss her, impacting the ground behind her. (MD) now begins to run as the subject quickly moves around to the front of the WRX and fires 4 more rounds. At least 3 of4 rounds strike (MD) who immediately falls down motionless in the street. The driver then reenters the driver’s seat and slowly pulls forward briefly stopping next to the body of (MD) who is still lying motionless on the ground right next to the driver’s door of the WRX. After a few seconds, the vehicle pulls away from the body of (MD) and then turns north on the Central Ave S.
Based on the witness’s descriptions and review of the surveillance video, it was determined that the same suspect driving a red late model Subaru WRX was most likely responsible for the shooting of both victims. Detectives then began the process of identifying the owner and driver of the red WRX. From the collected surveillance video, they were able to obtain several high-resolution videos of the side of the vehicle where they were able to determine that the white stripe or discoloration reported by the witnesses was actually custom lettering that was applied to the sidewall of all four tires. The writing appeared to have the word “My” or “Token” or a portion of either. Also, visible in the driver’s side rear quarter window was a sticker that read N7. Some internet research revealed that the N7 is associated with the Mass Effect video game. There was another white decal in the passenger side rear quarter window, but the image of the decal was not clear enough to identify it. On the driver’s side top of the rear window was a white Mandalorian sticker and a large white circular sticker in the top center with a smaller white circular decal at the top passenger side of 36the rear window.
It was believed that the lettering on the tires was part of a custom tire lettering kit typically ordered online. A Kent PD Detective then contacted TireStickers.com and Tredwear.com who both sell custom lettering for tires. He shared images of the lettering on the WRX with both companies and received a response fromTredwear.com. They advised the Detective that their head designer viewed the images and feels that the lettering could have been produced by them. Tredwear.com then conducted a search of filled customers’ orders that were specific to Washington state and located a record for James Algarin. The order was billed to James Algarin with an address of3317 NE Sawdust Hill RD, Poulsbo, W A 98370 but the order was mailed to James Algarin at 25010 98th PL S, #B304 Kent, W A 98030. The order was for four sets of XRF15 – 1.5″ Racing Font letters -white – which read “MY CHAINS ARE BROKEN.” The phrase purchased by Algarin of “My Chains Are Broken” contained words consistent with “My” or “Token”.
A Detective was able to locate photos of Algarin’s red Subaru WRX on a publicly viewable Instagram page. The photos captured a side profile of the driver’s side of the vehicle where you can clearly read, “My Chains Are Broken” on the sidewall of the tires. You can also clearly identify the N7 sticker in the driver’s rear quarter window.
Detectives with the Kent Police’s Special Investigations Unit began conducting surveillance in the area of Algarin’s residence. On April 26, a Detective located the red WRX parked in a parking space, and noted at that time that all of the decals visible in the surveillance video had now been removed but most of the adhesive was still visible. Also, most of the lettering on the tires had been removed with the exception of a few of the letters that were now partially peeling off as if somebody had attempted to remove them.
While conducting surveillance, Detectives noted that Algarin would frequently visit a female subject who lived at another apartment building in Kent. It was noted that Algarin would often visit the female subject and on occasion, spend the night at her residence. During their surveillance, they observed Algarin with the unidentified female subject several times. A Kent Police Detective conducted a search of various law enforcement databases and learned that the female friend lived at the residence. Detective obtained a Washington State Department of Licensing photo of the female and confirmed that she was the same person that Algarin was seen spending time with.
On April 28, 2022, a Detective obtained judicial authority to receive real-time location data on Algarin’s phone number. The following day they began receiving real-time locations for Algarin’s device. On May 5 , 2022, a Detective received the historical phone records for Algarin’s device for the date range of April 1 – April 28 , 2022.
Another Detective reviewed the historical records and confirmed that the subscriber was James Algarin with an effective date of February 2, 2015. During his review, a Detective found that Algarin sent 42 text messages to a phone number on April 14, which was the most he sent to any number on that day. That number was found to belong to the female friend of Algarin’s. During the times leading up to and during the shooting, Algarin’s device exchanged several text messages with the female’s device with the last message being sent by Algarin’s device at 22:20 hours. Because of the text message communication between Algarin’s and the female’s devices in the time leading up to and during the time of the shootings, Detective applied for and received judicial authority to search the female’s cellphone. On May 5 a Detective conducted a forensic download of the contents of her cell phone and reviewed the forensic download in conformance with the parameters of the search warrant. During the download he located a text conversation between the female and Algarin on the night of the shootings. The conversation took place between 1848 – 2220 hours on April 14, and started when the female sent a news article headline to Algarin that read, “Arizona man arrested after 183 frozen animals allegedly found in his freezer, some believed to have been frozen alive.” The conversation then read:
(times listed in non-military time for ease of reading)
- 18:48- Female friend: If you need target practice…
- 18:50- Algarin: Time for a murder
- 18:51 – Female friend: I know nothing
- 18:57 -Algarin: Good
- 20:50 – Female friend: I’m going to bed, just give me a heads up when you’re coming over in the morning.
- 20:54 -Algarin: When it’s early
- 20:59 – Female friend: I’ll aim to be ready by 6-630
- 21:02 -Algarin: Alright
- 21:12- Algarin: Watch my dogs if I don’t come back
- 21:14 -Algarin: Just kick the door down
- 21:14- Female friend:?
- 21:17- Algarin: You know nothing
- 22:20 – Algarin: Less homeless ppl