Police in Seattle are still searching for 30-year-old Ali Muhammad Brown, the man they have charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in connection with a brutal hate crime they believe was premeditated and arranged on a gay social networking app like Grindr.
The bodies of two gay men, 27-year-old Ahmed Said and 23-year-old Dwone Anderson-Young were found in the early morning hours of Tuesday not far from Seattle’s Capitol Hill gayborhood. According to police, they were both executed by Brown no more than 17 minutes after they had picked him up via a social networking app near a popular gay bar in town.
Both victims were shot in the head and police say there was no evidence of a struggle, robbery, exchange of drugs or any other type of crime. Neither of the victims had a criminal history, leading police to believe the crime was motivated exclusively by hate.
“It is evident that the murders were premeditated and unprovoked and part of a common scheme or plan,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Wyman Yip wrote in the court documents, obtained by KIRO TV. “The evidence from the crime scene, Said’s vehicle, and the autopsies suggest that the victims were essentially executed.”
Friends of Said and Anderson-Young told police they had been hanging out among friends at R Place earlier in the night. The two left shortly after they told friends they were “meeting a friend outside the club,” a man who was later identified as Brown. One of Said’s friends told police he didn’t believe Said had ever met Brown previously, and that he was “creeped out” by the man when he saw the three get into Said’s car together.
The car Said had picked Brown up in was later found in South Seattle, the interior covered in blood, including an incriminating bloody palm print belonging to Brown in the back seat. Police believe Brown may now be in New Jersey, and is possibly connected to a robbery in the Point Pleasant Beach area.
Brown has been charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder, a sentence that could get him the death penalty if convicted. Seattle police have also identified Brown as a convicted sex offender, and want him in connection to a third homicide in Washington. They’re urging anyone with more information to call Crime Stoppers at (206) 343-2020.
Though court documents don’t directly implicate Grindr as the app used by the victims in this case, a friend of Said’s is quoted telling police officers that Said was texting frequently on “an app like Grindr or Jack’d” before his murder.
In April, a Philadelphia man claimed he was raped by a man he met on Grindr. Last December, an elderly man was murdered by three men he allegedly also met on Grindr. Just a simple reminder to stay safe and always remember our five great tips on how to protect yourself while hooking up with strangers, if you must.