Lacey police look into self-defense claim in fatal stabbing case

LACEY - A 17-year-old male who was fatally stabbed outside a residence on Golf Club Road early Thursday has been identified as Faaitoto’atasi “Roman” Ma’ae, according to Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock.

Two men who were initially taken into custody in the case have been released because police have found no probable cause to charge either of them with a crime, according to Lacey police.

Lacey Police Lt. Jim Mack said the two men – the person thought to have stabbed Ma’ae and a friend who said he fired a gunshot into the ground outside their home during an altercation with a group of about five males – have cooperated with investigators.

Authorities are still trying to determine whether the man who armed himself with a knife acted in self-defense, Mack said. “He felt things were pretty bad because he armed himself with a weapon,” he said.

Initial investigation suggests that Ma’ae was the aggressor during the altercation, Mack added.

The two men who live on Golf Club Road were released from custody by noon Thursday.

According to Mack:

The altercation started when the two men who live in a home in the 1100 block of Golf Club Road left their home about midnight Wednesday to buy cigarettes.

En route to a convenience store on foot, they had an altercation with the group of five other males, a group that included Ma’ae. The altercation started over a request for a cigarette.

The group of five followed the two males to their home and a fight ensued in the front yard.

Ma’ae was stabbed at least three times with a kitchen knife that was retrieved from the home.

The two men who live in the home are in their mid- to late-20s.

Warnock said an autopsy will be performed Friday.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465