LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Three suspects were arrested and booked into Pierce County Jail Monday for the stabbing death of Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier Tevin Geike.
All three suspects are also soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
A sergeant contacted Lakewood detectives Sunday with information about a 23-year-old suspect who had asked another soldier for first aid for a knife wound. According to the sergeant, the suspect reportedly told the soldier he had cut his hand while stabbing a man over the weekend.
However, when the sergeant confronted him, the suspect said he cut his hand while chopping vegetables. The suspect told a different story to hospital staff when went to Madigan Hospital for treatment, claiming he injured his hand while cutting a parachute cord.
Officers also interviewed a 21-year-old soldier who admitted to being at the scene. The soldier said the stabbing took place early Saturday after he and four friends in a car had words with a group of men walking on Pacific Highway Southwest.
According to the soldier, the car stopped and the men got out but nothing happened once the parties realized everyone was active duty.
As they were walking back to the car, however, the 21-year-old soldier said it looked like the suspect gave the victim a "bear-hug" and pushed him to the ground. When the suspect returned to the car, the soldier said the victim was covered in blood and they discovered he had stabbed the victim.
A second soldier, 19, corroborated this account. The main suspect in the stabbing did not make a statement to police.
The three suspects were booked after police found the suspect vehicle and evidence in the soldiers' barracks. Two other soldiers in the car were reportedly cooperating with police and were not facing charges.
Geike, 20, was in a combat aviation unit. Specialist Brian Johnson, who was a friend of Geike's, compared the killing to an act of treason.
"You betrayed your country," Johnson sid. "At some point you served your country and now you killed a man that was doing the same."
"Why would you stab your own brother in arms," asked Specialist Donald Tener. "You're supposed to have each other's back."
According to a statement released by a Joint Base Lewis McChord spokesperson, the three men arrested in the murder were all members of the 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division.
The 23-year-old soldier who police say stabbed Geike, is from Chicago and joined the military in April of 2013.
Officers said that based on their interviews, the crime did not appear to be racially motivated.
KING 5 is not naming the suspects until they are charged.