Armed murder suspect busted in Brooklyn gym
He was wanted in connection with a gang shootout and homicide last October in Lakewood, Washington, just south of Tacoma – but perhaps 31 year-old Thomas Earl Cooper, Jr. felt comfortable being in another state while he went for a workout on Monday morning, February 18, at a fitness center on Highway 99E in Brooklyn.
He was 300 miles south of the crime scene. But Cooper didn't know that, on that particular morning, members of the Portland Police Gun Violence Reduction Team had tracked him down – on a warrant for the out-of-state homicide – to the "24-hour Fitness Super-Sport Gym" at 4546 S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, just south of Holgate.
While some officers took Cooper into custody, others located and seized the loaded handgun in the locker he'd been using at the club while exercising.
According to the Lakewood Police Department, Cooper was one of five present at a "gang shootout" that left a bystander dead. The victim had come to the Lakewood-area nightclub to pick up his girlfriend after her bartending shift.
After his arrest, Cooper was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 12:53 p.m. on the Washington State warrant, along with additional Portland charges of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Possession of a Loaded Firearm in Public.
Although his combined bail for the Portland gun charges was only $5,000, Cooper is still in jail on a U.S. Marshall's Hold for the Washington warrant.