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Belltown Shooting Suspects Arrested, Victim Was Just Out Partying

By Tom Fucoloro June 17, 2010

Two suspects in the June 6 shooting in Belltown that left one person dead and another wounded have been arrested in Long Beach, Calif.

Felix Vincent Sitthivong, street name Phi, has been charged with second degree murder and second degree assault. Jason Reeves Lee was charged with rendering criminal assistance. A third suspect, Nam Viet Nguyen, was charged with rendering criminal assistance and intimidating a witness. Nam is still loose.

Steve Sok was celebrating a friend's birthday at a bunch of clubs with a group of friends when they decided to get some food at V-Bar in the early morning of June 6, according to court documents. Around 3 a.m., he was shot and killed outside the bar. Philip Thomas, 44, was also hit and sustained injuries. 

Earlier, the shooter was confrontational and "on something"

Before the shooting, two unnamed witnesses R.B. and K.T. told detectives that they met up with Lee, Sitthivong and Nam in Belltown. R.B. said that Sitthivong appeared to be "on something" and was being confrontational on the streets. At one point, he tried to start a fight with a group be believed to be bloods. R.B. said he thinks Sitthivong, Lee and Nam are crips because they always wear blue. R.B. said he had never hung out with Sitthivong before.

Early in the morning, some of them decided to get food. Lee left, and R.B., Nam and Sitthivong headed to V-Bar in a car driven and owned by K.T. In the car, Nam and Sitthivong wanted to see R.B.'s gun. K.T. tried to put the gun in the glovebox, but Nam got it and handed it to Sitthivong.

When they parked the car in the lot just south of V-Bar, Sitthivong immediately got out of the car and began to yell at Sok and Sok's friend Landon Nguyen. Landon said Sitthivong started "shit talking" them. Sitthivong then lifted his shirt to reveal the butt of a handgun. R.B., K.T. and Nam got out to see what Sitthivong was yelling about, and R.B. saw Sok and Landon take off running. Sitthivong took the gun out of his waistband and started firing at the two as they ran away.

Landon escaped unharmed, but Sok would die from his wounds.

After the shooting

R.B., K.T., Nam and Sitthivong fled back to the vehicle.

Once they were in the car, K.T. asked Sitthivong if he just shot someone, and he saw Sitthivong nod from the back seat. Sitthivong told him to drive, and the four of them left and met up with Lee. Lee said he would get rid of the gun. Lee and Nam told R.B. and K.T. not to say anything.

R.B. met with detectives June 8. That same day, K.T. met up with Nam, Lee and Sitthivong, and they discussed the shooting again. They told him not to talk to anyone and that they were getting a rental car and driving to California. After the encounter, R.B., K.T. and their family started receiving calls and text messages from Nam telling them to "stop snitching" and to "watch your back in the hood if they keep snitchin."

Sitthivong has been convicted previously for residential burglary, theft and taking a motor vehicle without permission, all in 2002. He was also convicted in 2008 for unlawful possession of a firearm, according to the bail request.

The manager of the apartment building across the street shot video of the end of the shooting on his iPhone. From KIRO:

 

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