by: Gary Horcher Updated:
LACEY, Wash. - Detectives in Thurston County arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of fatally stabbing his mother with a screwdriver, and critically injuring his 67-year-old former neighbor with a similar tool.
While police were searching for Tyler Lewis, they say he drove right up to the murder scene, where he’s suspected of stabbing his mother in her home hours earlier. “He was really surprised to see us there,” said Captain Greg Elwin of the Thurston County Sheriff’s department. “Luckily, there were a lot of alert cops here, who grabbed him,” he said.
Detectives tell KIRO-7 Lewis was stoic and relaxed when they arrested him. “Kinda chillingly so actually,” said Elwin. “And that makes us wonder--deeply, what caused this guy to go off and do these horrible things."
Lewis was booked into Thurston County Jail Monday night on investigation of first-degree murder and first-degree assault, according to the county's jail roster.
Police were first alerted at about 3 p.m. when a woman spotted a dog wandering on a busy roadway and followed it home. There, she discovered 67-year-old West Simpson lying on the floor next to his wheelchair and called for help. Police said the stabbing victim uses a wheelchair and oxygen, and still had a screwdriver in his neck when she found him.
He had several stab wounds to the neck, head and hands, and was in "extremely critical " condition at a local hospital after surgery Monday night, police said. Detectives found out Tyler Lewis is a former neighbor of Simpson’s.
While police were investigating the man's stabbing, they got a call from a neighborhood on Foxhill Drive—about five miles away—at around 5 p.m. A man there reported that his wife had been stabbed to death in the couple’s garage. The husband told police he believed the attacker was his stepson, Tyler Lewis.
People who know Simpson, and the suspect Lewis can’t believe what happened. “He’s such a sweet, sweet man,” said Lori, a longtime friend of Simpson. “I can’t understand why anyone would attack someone in a wheelchair.”