Maple Valley man charged with assault in shooting outside Fairwood gym

Jhalante Tahyre Smith is being held on $200,000 bail in the King County Jail at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. His arraignment is June 2 at the Regional Justice Center.

UPDATE: The story is being updated with information from charging documents.

A 20-year-old Maple Valley man was charged Thursday with first-degree assault in the shooting Monday, May 16, of a Kent man outside a Fairwood health club following a basketball game.

Jhalante Tahyre Smith is being held on $200,000 bail in the King County Jail at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. His arraignment is June 2 at the Regional Justice Center.

In charging documents, prosecutors describe Smith as homeless and unemployed, although a Maple Valley address is listed in the documents, and likely to commit another violent crime if he’s released. He has no previous convictions.

Smith turned himself in to King County Sheriff’s Office detectives on Tuesday, following the shooting in the parking lot outside LA Fitness at 140th Avenue Southeast and Petrovitsky Road, according to the  King County Sheriff’s Office.

Multiple 911 calls were received at about 7 p.m. Monday, May 16, of the  shooting. A 21-year-old Kent man had been shot once in the right bicep; he and multiple witnesses gave a description of the suspect to deputies and also a possible name. The suspect was seen running from the area; deputies and a K9 unit searched but didn’t find him.

The victim and some friends were playing basketball, when Smith joined in, according to charging documents. Smith argued with another patron at the gym, prompting the victim to step in and try to end it. Smith and the victim then got into an argument, according to the documents.

The victim left to walk to his car but went back inside to get his basketball. He and his friends then walked out together, with the suspect following them. The victim was still in a heated exchange as he stood next to his car. Smith  pointed a handgun at him, and the victim raised his arms as if to surrender, according to charging documents.

The victim was shot once in the upper arm as he tried to get into his car. He tried to run away but fell. Now he was lying on his back; Smith, according to prosecutors, pointed the gun at his chest and pulled the trigger. But the gun jammed. Smith tried but failed at least twice to get the gun to fire again, then fled.

Smith’s attorney called detectives on Tuesday to report he wanted to surrender. They met near the scene of the shooting; Smith led detectives to the edge of a trail on Southeast 181st Street and pointed to an area where investigators found a backpack with a loaded .40 caliber, Taurus semi-automatic handgun inside and some of Smith’s personal documents.

The victim has treated at Valley Medical Center and later released.


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