Man accused in deadly stabbing at Seattle Center held on $2 million bail

SPD arrests suspect in Seattle Center stabbing (KOMO Photo)

SEATTLE -- A Pierce County man accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend at Seattle Center on Friday has been ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail.

David Lee Morris, 29, is at the King County Jail for investigation of homicide. He waived his appearance at the bail hearing; the King County Prosecutor’s Office is expected to file a murder charge by Wednesday.

Seattle police were called to the Armory, a food court and gathering spot at Seattle Center at 4:19 p.m. Friday for multiple 911 calls about a stabbing. Callers told dispatchers the suspect appeared to be walking toward a McDonald’s just off Seattle Center property, according to an affidavit of probable cause released by prosecutors.

Officers approached the suspect, he had blood on his hands and was carrying a knife, according to police. When the man, identified by police as Morris, didn’t listen to officers’ commands to drop the knife they Tased him at least twice, the affidavit said.

Gabrielle Garcia, 28, was found near the MOD Pizza restaurant in the Armory. She died at Harborview Medical Center, the affidavit said.

Garcia and Morris’ 5-year-old son was there when the attack happened, police said.

Witnesses told police they saw Morris “strangling” or “punching or stabbing” Garcia. The man said he yelled at Morris and put a chair in front of Garcia as a barrier, he said someone else threw a chair at Morris before the suspect walked away, police said.

When detectives interviewed Morris, he said he killed Garcia to “make a better life for his son,” police wrote in the affidavit.

Morris criticized Garcia for dating other men and told police that Garcia had a domestic-violence protection order against him, according to the affidavit.

The executive director of a North Seattle organization created to help survivors and victims of domestic-violence said Monday that she was “horrified” by Garcia’s death. The attack “reflects the real, very real, danger that many survivors are living with,” said Susan Segall, who heads New Beginnings.

Segall said the violence, committed in such a public place, will not only impact Garcia’s son and family, but witnesses as well as other survivors of violence who fear for their own safety.

“There are so many ripple effects and it’s in some ways unfortunate that we only become aware of it when something very public like that happens,” Segall said.

New Beginnings is one of several advocacy groups in King County dedicated to help domestic-violence survivors. They have a 24-hour helpline with advocates who can offer advice, just listen or create what Segall calls a “safety plan.”

“Really determining the ways that might reduce harm to your safety and well-being,” Segall said.

Segall said there’s no guarantee a safety plan will save lives, but she said the more people involved in a plan and the more awareness about potentially harmful situations can help.

New Beginnings advocates can be reached day or night at (206) 522-9472.

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