TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Vernon Lewis Curry, Jr., 32, with murder in the first degree for the Sept. 7, 2014 shooting death of Michael Allen Ward, Jr., 33, in Tacoma’s Lincoln District. Curry is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in room 270 of the County-City Building in Tacoma.
“We are continuing to vigorously prosecute gang violence whenever it occurs,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
In the early morning hours of Sept. 7, people were gathered at a private party hosted by a local motorcycle club. Ward was outside in his car when Curry walked up to Ward’s vehicle with a black mask covering his face, and shot Ward several times. Curry fled the area on foot. Ward did not survive.
Nearby, police found a black ski mask matching the one Curry is seen wearing in surveillance video of the shooting. DNA collected from the mask matched Curry’s DNA, which was in the system as the result of a prior felony conviction. Residents who live near where the mask was found said that a man in a red Acura TL was seen searching for something the morning after the shooting. Curry is the registered owner of a red Acura TL, and he was driving it when police arrested him.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office