Burien man claims he shot to death Shell employees because of 'disrespect'

Kent Police arrested a Burien man for shooting two Shell store employees on Wednesday at the corner of South 212th Street and 64th Avenue South. - DEAN RADFORD, Reporter
Kent Police arrested a Burien man for shooting two Shell store employees on Wednesday at the corner of South 212th Street and 64th Avenue South.
— image credit: DEAN RADFORD, Reporter

A Burien man, whom Kent Police arrested for investigation of killing two men at a Kent Shell service station, reportedly claims he fired the shots because of "disrespect."

A King County Superior Court judge set bail at $2 million Thursday for Leland D. Russell, 29.

Kent Police arrested Russell on Wednesday night in Burien for shooting to death two store employees Wednesday morning at the corner of South 212th Street and 64th Avenue South.

Russell is being held at the King County jail in Seattle. He was booked into jail at 12:38 a.m. Thursday, according to jail records.

During an interview with detectives after his arrest, Russell admitted to shooting both men, according to court documents. Russell, who is Hispanic, said the dispute started after construction workers at the service station said racial slurs to him and his friend, a black man he identified as "Sac."

Russell said once inside the station, the workers repeated the racial epithet. Russell said he and the construction workers got in a verbal argument that was joined by Shell store employees. Russell's friend and a store clerk reportedly got in a fistfight when Russell retrieved a gun from his Cadillac and shot the clerk and a store manager who tried to break up the fight.

Russell told police he had to shoot the victims because if he didn't, Sac's family would kill him for not standing up for his friend.

Russell waived his appearance at the bail hearing, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. He is scheduled for a second appearance at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25 at the county jail.

Information at this time indicates that Russell was the only shooter, according to a Kent Police media release. Detectives have identified the second subject, known as Sac, who was at the scene and are actively looking for him. He is wanted for questioning.

Detectives seized the black Cadillac that was used during the incident and is being processed for potential evidence.

As of Thursday, the King County Medical Examiner's Office had not yet released the names of the two victims. Kent Police spokesman Jarod Kasner said investigators are still trying to positively confirm the identity of one of the victims plus notify next of kin.

Police used surveillance video from the Shell station, both external and internal cameras, to help determine what happened. The video showed a brief verbal and physical argument between the two victims and a black man. Then Russell appears to retrieve a firearm from a black Cadillac and shoots the two men at close range. The men died at the scene.

Russell also was booked into the county jail May 25 for investigation of burglary and harassment in Seattle, according to jail records. He was released two days later on $50,000 bail.

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