TACOMA, Wash. — A heartbroken mother is sharing her grief after learning her 16-year-old son was likely the victim of retaliation for a crime he was never involved in.
Now three men are in the Pierce County Jail. They are charged with the murder of Larry Marshall III, known as ‘Trae’ to family and friends.
His killing was part of a larger crime spree that has been plaguing Tacoma.
Marshall’s only tie to the crimes? He was friends with the teenagers who allegedly staged the robbery that led to his death.
It is a heartbreaking case in every way, and it is part of a very sad statistic.
Trae is the fifth person under the age of 18 killed in Tacoma since January.
But this is the most convoluted one of all.
According to investigators, his death was in retaliation for a crime that happened last month at the Tacoma Mall, a crime he had nothing to do with.
“He kept saying he was going to the University of Oregon to play football, or Alabama,” said his older sister.
“This boy was a natural athlete,” chimed in his mom, Jillian Marshall.
And even though he’s gone, talking about him still makes them smile.
His younger sister said he wanted to be a police officer.
“I thought he wanted to be an electrician?” his mother asked, smiling.
“Or an elevator man,” added his older sister.
“He wanted to be a lot of things in life,” his younger sister added.
But Trae will never get to be any of those things.
“No, you don’t think you’re going to leave for work and you’re never going to see your son again,” said Jillian.
On March 25, two of his friends, 19-year-old Tyrus Walker-Scott and 18-year-old Isaiah Williams, allegedly staged a robbery inside the Kinlow Barbershop in the Tacoma Mall. The man they allegedly robbed was 29-year-old Isiah Martin.
According to court documents, four days later, Martin and two teenage associates ambushed Trae Marshall at the Lakeside Landing apartment complex in retaliation for the robbery.
Trae’s friends showed up at the scene, visibly upset. And that was the first Tacoma knew about the robbery at the Tacoma Mall.
By then, Trae, an innocent victim, was dead, having been shot multiple times.
“Upset, hurt,” said Larry Marshall, Jr., Trae’s dad. “Hurt more than anything.”
Now his family is remembering the teenager with the million-dollar smile.
“He was a giving guy,” Marshall said. “He loved people. He would give you anything off his back. He’d never charge you. No, never.”
“He gave away everything,” his mother said, chuckling.
“I just think we got to find a way to do something with these guns,” added his dad.
Larry Marshall believes the penalties for crimes with a gun have to be stiffened.
As for the men charged with his son’s murder, the two teens are being held on a $1 million bond. Isiah Martin, who has a criminal history, is being held on $1.5 million bond.
All three remain in the Pierce County Jail.
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