More information emerges on WinCo stabbing incident

Ian Bramel-Allen, the suspect in the April 19 fatal stabling of 37-year-old Oregon resident Brett Northcutt in Edmonds’ WinCo Foods parking lot, remains in custody in Snohomish County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

On Tuesday, May 9, he appeared in Snohomish County District Court where prosecutors filed a criminal complaint charging the 43-year-old Bramel-Allen with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and theft of a motor vehicle.

The district court complaint gives prosecutors until May 26 to prepare and bring formal charges in Snohomish County Superior Court. At that time Bramel-Allen will appear in court where he will be arraigned on these charges and have the opportunity to enter a formal plea.

Additional information on the stabbing including a timeline of events was obtained from sources including surveillance video and witnesses. It is contained in police reports and other documents filed with the court.

According to these, on the night of the incident police were dispatched to the WinCo parking lot at 8:44 p.m. to investigate a reported stabbing. Upon arriving, they found the victim on the ground bleeding “uncontrollably” from “multiple penetrating stab wounds.” An ambulance was summoned, but the victim was pronounced dead shortly after being loaded into the aid car.

Surveillance video by WinCo revealed a person later identified as Bramel-Allen wandering the parking lot earlier in the evening, and appearing to test the doors of a white 2014 Kia Sorento before entering the store. A few minutes after, he was observed leaving the store and following a person — later identified as Brett Northcutt — into the parking lot. Northcutt approached the Kia and unlocked it, at which time Bramel-Allen attacked him “swinging his arms and hands at him multiple times” for about 18 seconds.

Northcutt then walked away from Bramel-Allen, and a few minutes later collapsed to the pavement. Bramel-Allen entered the Kia and drove it out of the parking lot exit at 220th Street Southwest, heading east in the direction of Interstate 5.

Bulletins were released to the public and other law enforcement agencies that included information from the WinCo surveillance video and the license number of the Kia.

The vehicle was found by Seattle police at 5:45 a.m. the next morning in the vicinity of Seattle’s Volunteer Park.  It was impounded and towed to the Edmonds police station, where it was held as evidence.

Stills from the surveillance video led to a citizen report that Bramel-Allen had been sighted near Volunteer Park, and officers quickly located him. He initially attempted to flee on foot and when he was finally approached by officers he “stabbed himself in the neck multiple times before surrendering.” He was taken into custody at 11:25 a.m. and transported to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of his wounds.

While at Harborview, Bramel-Allen was read his Miranda rights and questioned by Edmonds police detectives. According to the police report, he asked several times if the victim was OK, and when told he was deceased Bramel-Allen “began to cry and say something to the effect of ‘I plead guilty to everything.’” He also made several voluntary and unprompted statements including that he didn’t plan to kill Northcutt, but “just saw red” when he saw him.

Bramel-Allen remained in Harborview under guard while being treated for his wounds. He was released on Monday, May 8 and booked into jail, and remains in custody in lieu of posting bond.

Subsequent investigations by Edmonds police detectives revealed that the attack was targeted and not a random carjacking. According to police, the Kia belongs to a woman who was staying in Edmonds at the time of the attack, and that she regularly lent it to her daughter who frequently used the vehicle while visiting her in Edmonds.

The daughter is acquainted with both Bramel-Allen and Northcutt, and police continue to investigate the nature of this relationship and its possible connection to the crime.

— By Larry Vogel

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