KENT, Wash. — The Kent Police Department said Wednesday morning it has made an arrest in the fatal carjacking of 38-year-old Jered Sperling.
The suspect is identified as 23-year-old Gurkeerat Kainth. Jail records show he was arrested for investigation of homicide, vehicle theft and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Kainth has a long criminal history -- stolen car charges from 2016, 2017, and 2018. He was booked into jail 10 times since 2016, including this latest case.
In the 2017 stolen vehicle case, the police report shows five Kent officers - including a K9 -- chased him by car and then on foot, and the incident involved the Sheriff's Office Guardian 1 helicopter. Police said he resisted arrest until the police dog "contacted Kainth on the calf." He was then handcuffed.
In the latest case from December 2018, Kainth was released after his arrest on “personal recognizance.”
Kainth was supposed to show up to the Community Center for Alternative Programs (CCAP) as a condition of his release but disappeared.
After Sperling's death, police started a manhunt for two persons of interest seen on surveillance video.
One man in the surveillance video was Kainth, investigators said. The second man in the video, identified by police as Troy Vasquez, is cooperating with investigators and is not a suspect in the Monday night carjacking of Sperling's truck and subsequent death, officials said.
Kent police said Sperling's body was found in the back of the truck, 2 1/2 miles from where it was carjacked.
Investigators said the truck was parked and running near the gate of the storage center Sperling managed with his wife at the time of the incident. As the truck was being driven away by the thief, Sterling jumped in the back to stop it, according to police.
Marquis Sims, who knew Sperling, said it's not a surprise Sperling would try to save his truck as it was being stolen.
“I just think he’s the kind of guy that doesn’t want any – I mean he works hard for his stuff and anybody who works hard for their stuff don’t want nobody to take it,” Sims said.
The truck was found Tuesday morning at an apartment complex nearby, parked near the mailboxes and adjacent to a “No parking” sign. A resident at Cascades Homes Apartments told KIRO 7 they found a body in the abandoned truck. Police did not say how the victim died.
Kent police told KIRO 7 they have video of the carjacking but have decided not to release it yet.
Anyone with information about the carjacking is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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