Kyle Grinnell, Sr. remembers his only son, saying, “I named him after me, but quickly I started calling him buddy ‘cause he was just always with me, he was my little buddy.” Twenty-one-year-old Kyle Grinnell, Jr. was also the oldest of four kids with a special connection to his father. “He really wanted to be like me, wanted to be me. So, we had a great relationship because he was just always with me,” Grinnell explained this week to Washington’s Most Wanted Correspondent Parella Lewis.
Kyle Jr. lived at an apartment complex owned by his father just off Tyler Street in Tacoma. He was pressure washing the sidewalk as a favor to his dad when gunshots rang out. It was around 4:30 in the afternoon on Feb. 21, 2007. Detective Gene Miller with the Tacoma Police Departments says, “The early phases of the shooting investigation identified Gabriel Nevarez as the shooter in this particular incident.” Nevarez, or “The Joker” as he was known on the street, was trying to kill someone else. “As he approached the residents he rolled down the driver side window of the suspect vehicle and fired multiple rounds in the direction of the person he wanted to strike. That individual was not struck; instead, the victim in this case, Kyle Grinnell, was struck. He was not the intended target,” Miller explains.
Kyle was killed simply because he was standing next to the wrong person. Police believe that Nevarez may have fled to Mexico. They want to bring him back to face first degree murder charges, but they need help to make that happen. Detective Miller says, “Gabriel Nevarez does have several family members that live in the Pierce County/Tacoma area and I can’t exclude the possibility that he may be in contact with some of those persons. It’s my hope that someone comes forward regarding his current whereabouts. It’d be a heck of a Christmas present for the family to know that they’re going to finally get to face the person responsible for killing Mr. Grinnell.”
If you know anything about the whereabouts of wanted fugitive Gabriel Nevarez or “The Joker,” call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. All calls are guaranteed anonymous and you could receive a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to his arrest.