A man described by prosecutors as a devout Muslim and who is accused of a murder spree that left four people dead in two states, told police that the killings were part of a "bloody crusade" to exact vengeance for actions by the United States in the Middle East, according to court documents.
Prosecutors in Washington charged Ali Muhammad Brown, 29, on Wednesday with first-degree aggravated murder in the April 27 shooting of Leroy Henderson, 30, in Skyway, south of Seattle. Brown was previously charged with aggravated murder in the June 1 shooting deaths of two men in Seattle, Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young.
In early August, Brown pleaded not guilty to killing a college student Brendan Tevlin, 19, on June 25 in New Jersey. His public defender had no comment at that appearance. Brown allegedly told police that his mission was "vengeance" for the "millions of lives lost every day" in countries like Iraq and Syria.
"All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life," he told detectives, NJ.com reported, citing court documents.
The paper reported that Brown allegedly confessed to killing the men. All four victims, the paper reported, were shot multiple times in isolated areas late at night. Leroy Henderson, one of Brown's alleged victims, was shot in the back 10 times while he was walking home, Q13Fox.com reported.
Prosecutors reportedly labeled Tevlin's killing a robbery that led to 10 shots being fired into his car. Detectives were able to match 9-mm. shell casings in the killings, the paper reported. Authorities believe Tevlin was shot by Brown, who was joined by two other men named as co-defendants.
Tevlin was a 2013 graduate of Seton Hall Preparatory School, where he was a popular lacrosse player, and had recently returned home after completing his freshman year at The University of Richmond.
Hundreds attended a Mass held Thursday for Tevlin, who was remembered as a "model citizen."
In court papers filed in Seattle, a King County sheriff's detective says Brown's statements to detectives show he committed the four murders "behind the common motive of vengeance for perceived acts of wrongdoing committed by the government of the United States."
Brown, who was arrested in West Orange, N.J., on July 18, is reportedly a registered sex offender and transient with a long criminal history, NJ.com reported. He is being held on $5 million bail. He could face the death penalty if tried in Washington.
The Associated Press contributed to this report