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Suspected Killer Gives Up In Santa Monica

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Hector Gonzalez
Special to The Lookout

February 11, 2016 -- A man wanted in Washington State on suspicion of shooting a man to death outside a convenience store last week was in custody at the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles on Wednesday, after walking into the Santa Monica Police Department and surrendering Tuesday night, said police.

Robert Deshawn Grott, 29, who had been wanted by authorities in Pierce County as the prime suspect in the February 1 shooting, walked into the station on Olympic Drive around 8:40 p.m. Tuesday and turned himself in without incident, said police.

Grott was transferred Wednesday morning to the main jail in downtown after spending the night in the Santa Monica Jail, said police.

On February 3, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Grott with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting of Julian Jemar Thomas, 23, outside a Tacoma convenience store.

His brother, Rashaad Dominique Grott, 22, was charged with helping Grott avoid arrest by driving him to Los Angeles, where the suspect surrendered to Los Angeles police, the FBI said in a news release.

Grott spent at least one night, on February 2, in a hotel in the downtown Los Angeles area, the FBI said.

While Grott surrendered peacefully, authorities in Pierce County and the FBI had considered him armed and dangerous.

FBI officials noted in the new release last week that the gun used in the homicide had not been found.

“We are all sick and tired of violence like this,” Lindquist said February 3, adding that 46 rounds were fired in the shooting.

Tacoma police responded to a shots-fired call at around 12:40 p.m. February 1 at Center Street and South Union Avenue and found Thomas' bullet-riddled car with the victim inside. Thomas was hit 10 times, according to Pierce County officials.

After firing then reloading and firing more shots, the gunman rode off on a skateboard, officials said, citing witnesses.

Detectives interviewed Thomas' mother and showed her videos and photos of the shooter that were taken at the scene by witnesses. The victim's mother identified the gunman as Grott and said he and her son had disputed some months ago “about a missing or stolen gun,” said Pierce County officials.

After serving a search warrant at Grott's home, detectives found an empty case for a Glock 9 mm handgun. Shell casings found at the shooting scene were from a Glock 9 mm pistol, said authorities.

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