A 43-year-old Tacoma man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2000 now faces additional charges after shooting and killing a man following a verbal confrontation at a gas station earlier this month.
Parris Donzell Miller is charged with first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for the fatal Sept. 15 shooting.
According to court documents, on the morning of Sept. 15, the victim and a male co-worker were at a Pilot Express gas station in their work truck when the victim got into an altercation with an unknown man driving an SUV.
That man was later identified to be Miller.
The victim told his co-worker that Miller was “mean-mugging” him, giving him “dirty looks” and “staring him down in an intimidating manner,” according to court documents.
Before leaving the gas station, the victim went over to Miller’s SUV and verbally confronted him. After the confrontation, the victim returned to his work truck and went back to work with his co-worker.
The co-worker told police that Miller followed them to their workplace and once there, everyone got out of their vehicles.
Another verbal altercation ensued when the victim approached Miller’s SUV, the co-worker told police. Afterward, Miller and the victim separated, and Miller got back into his SUV.
The victim’s co-worker said that as the victim walked back toward the front passenger side of Miller’s SUV, Miller rolled the window down and fired one shot with a black-colored pistol.
Another employee who was interviewed at the warehouse said he saw the victim and Miller “sizing each other up and walking side-to-side,” according to court documents.
The employee said he heard the victim say, “You didn’t want to do anything at the gas station, so what now?”
According to court documents, about 10 seconds later, the employee heard what he thought was a firecracker and saw Miller flee from the parking lot.
The victim approached the employee while holding his hand to his shoulder, saying he had been shot.
The employee called 911 and officers began CPR when they arrived, but the man did not survive.
Miller was described by witnesses as a Black male in his 40s, about 6 feet, 2 inches tall, with a heavy muscular build.
According to documents, detectives obtained surveillance footage showing Miller’s vehicle in the area of the shooting and on Sept. 16, officers found the vehicle near Portland Avenue East and East 25th Street.
Officers tried to pull Miller over, but he refused and a pursuit ensued. Miller drove to the area of North 26th Street and North Pearl Street before running away on foot.
He was detained by Tacoma Police Department officers and taken into custody.
According to court documents, in later interviews with detectives, Miller said he had to do “drastic things to save his own (expletive)” and that he “did not mean to hurt him like he got hurt.”
Miller told detectives that “the dude pressed me in a serious way,” and that he “did not mean to do that to the guy, I did not mean to shoot him to death.”
Miller said that he only fired one shot because he wanted it to be a “warning shot,” explaining that he wanted the victim to “think about it, like a lesson moment.”
Miller also told detectives that he threw his gun into the Puyallup River as he drove by. He also said that there was fentanyl and crack cocaine in his vehicle.
Because of Miller’s 2000 conviction for second-degree murder, he is prohibited from owning or possessing guns.
A judge set Miller’s bail at $3 million.
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