Suspect in 2018 Kennewick home invasion, murder arrested after gunfight on a Seattle highway

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KENNEWICK, Wash. — Four years after an 18-year-old Tri-Cities resident named Hunter Black was killed during a targeted home invasion, Kennewick police investigators confirmed that their prime suspect has been taken into custody for a separate crime in Seattle.

Accoridng to Sgt. Joe Santoy from the Kennewick Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, significant developments in the case have arisen over the course of the last year.

While he did not specify what these developments were, they were key to establishing probable cause to arrest 23-year-old Lawrence Isaiah Groce for first-degree murder.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Community celebrates the life of Hunter Black with a candlelight vigil

The initial crime took place on October 26, 2018 around 2:25 a.m. when KPD officers were called to a residence on the 400-block of S. Yelm St.

Upon arrival, first responders confirmed that Black had been murdered inside of his home. The initial investigation suggested that it was a targeted home invasion and robbery completed by several unknown suspects.

Fast forward to April 2, 2022, when Washington State Patrol (WSP) troopers responded to the northbound lane of I-5 near I-405 in King County as two cars were seen shooting at each other.

RELATED: 18-year-old victim identified in fatal Kennewick home invasion

The drive-by shootings were broken up and four people were booked into the King County Jail—one of them being Lawrence Isaiah Groce. They believe the incident was gang-related, and Groce faces the following potential charges: Drive-by shooting, Felony hit-and-run, assault to the fourth degree and harassment.

Kennewick police investigators say that Groce will eventually be transported to the Benton County Jail to face criminal charges for his role in the murder.

Sgt. Santoy was unable to provide further details because this investigation is ongoing. However, he did note that updated information will be released at a later date.

This is a breaking news story. An update and/or follow-up will be issued once further details are publically revealed.


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