Neighborhood feud sparked shooting of brothers

SHOT: Confrontation after fight ended with 1 dead, 1 wounded

May 4, 2011 

Surrounded by family members camped outside a trauma unit at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, Kevin Shelton described what it was like to hold his older brother as he died.

“I was holding him in my arms when he passed away,” the 15-year-old said. “It was heartbreaking.”

Shennon “Skeevie” Shelton, a football and basketball coach at Cascade Middle School, was fatally shot Sunday in Auburn. Another brother was wounded.

Olenthis Woods, 18, was arrested on investigation of second-degree murder and first-degree assault and booked into the King County Jail. He appeared in court Tuesday and had bail set at $1 million.

According to police and the brothers’ uncle, Steve Leau, 22-year-old Skeevie Shelton was killed after he went to the aid of his older brother, who had been called on to break up a street fight.

That brother, Gaston “Tui” Shelton, 23, was shot and seriously wounded. He is at Harborview and expected to survive, family members said.

The victims are brothers of University of Washington football recruit Danny Shelton, a senior at Auburn High School.

According to police, a feud between two families not related to the Sheltons evolved into a street brawl Sunday in the 400 block of 37th Street Southeast.

Tui Shelton and his wife and children were visiting a friend in the neighborhood when a neighbor asked him to come outside and help defuse the situation, his family said.

When he approached the group, members of the feuding families attacked him, Auburn police Cmdr. Mike Hirman said.

“We’re still trying to sort it out, but he somehow got involved with these two families, and the aggression was then directed at him,” Hirman said.

Tui’s wife called his brothers and said “he’d been shot, but he had really just been jumped,” explained Kevin, who drove to the neighborhood along with Skeevie, Danny and a cousin.

The feuding families had scattered when the Sheltons arrived. But they went to a duplex in the 3700 block of C Court Southeast, where they’d been told members of one of the families lived.

Hirman said the Sheltons approached the door of the home about 5 p.m.

Woods told police he saw the brothers approaching, so he went inside to get a gun. When he emerged, he saw his front door had been kicked in and his mother standing outside near Tui Shelton, according to court documents.

When Tui Shelton took a step toward Woods, he shot him in the chest, the bullet barely missing his heart, the documents state. As Woods advanced through the front door, police said, Skeevie Shelton tried to grab him from the side and was shot in the side of the neck.

Woods told police “he would have shot more Samoans, but his gun malfunctioned,” according to a probable cause report.

According to his brothers, Skeevie was the wisest and most athletic among the Shelton brothers.

“He was quiet, but he had the best smile, and everybody loved him,” Kevin Shelton said. “He was a real good role model.”

In addition to coaching at the Auburn middle school, Skeevie Shelton was a youth leader, a trustee and the choir’s sound and light man at the Auburn Samoan Nazarene Church, where his uncle is pastor.

“He was the nicest boy you ever could know,” Leau said.

News Tribune staff writer Stacia Glenn contributed to this report.

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