A Pierce County juvenile is charged with murder in Spokane after prosecutors said witnesses and fingerprints link him to a drive-by shooting last summer.
Christen D. Ativalu-Ford, 17, was ordered Monday to remain in the Spokane County Jail on a $1 million bond. He and Isiah J. Cavitt are charged with the drive-by shooting that killed 21-year-old Kionte M. Bullard. Prosecutors have also charged the driver, 18-year-old Ashleigh Prado, in connection with the killing.
Bullard was shot to death in the early hours of July 8 just moments after he placed his 1-month-old baby in his car. The baby was not injured.
According to witnesses, the incident that led to the shooting started as an altercation outside of Luckys Irish Pub, located at 408 W. Sprague Avenue in downtown Spokane.
Witnesses told Spokane police investigators that a man, later identified as Cavitt, challenged Bullard to fight. The two men separated, but Bullard refused to shake Cavitt’s hand, court records state.
At about 2 a.m. Bullard drove to his girlfriend’s house at 3015 N. Nelson St. Just moments after he loaded their baby into their vehicle, gunfire erupted and Bullard was killed.
Bullard’s girlfriend, Tijera McQueen, told police that she once dated Cavitt so he would have known where she lived.
Witnesses reported seeing a white SUV drive away from the shooting with its lights turned off. Spokane Police later found a white 2002 Hyundai Sante Fe parked near Cavitt’s residence. The SUV was registered to Marlene Prado, who had given it to her daughter, 18-year-old Ashleigh Prado, to drive.
Investigators spoke to Ashleigh Prado on July 8, but she denied being involved in the shooting. After prosecutors charged Prado with murder in connection to the shooting, she agreed to speak with detectives in September. In the presence of her attorney, Prado told investigators that she knew Cavitt. She said he, along with two friends from Tacoma, had asked her to drive to the home of Bullard’s girlfriend.
Prado identified the Tacoma friends, via photographs, as Christen Ativalu-Ford, whom she knew as “Chris Ford” and William V. Garrett, 18, who also went by “Louie.”
After the downtown altercation, Prado agreed to drive the three men to a residence in North Spokane.
“As she was driving she saw Cavitt was armed with a firearm and Christen Ativalu-Ford armed with a firearm,” Spokane Police Detective Craig Wendt wrote. “As she was driving, Cavitt pointed out a subject in a yard and directed her to circle the block to approach the subject.”
The group noticed that the man, later identified as Bullard, was carrying a baby and they talked about allowing him to put the baby into the car. Cavitt then “demanded” Prado lean forward, court records state.
“Cavitt then reached behind her head and pointed a gun toward the victim,” Wendt wrote. Prado “heard several gunshots and could feel shell casings hitting off the back of her neck. She did not observe Ativalu-Ford shoot the gun that he had, but believed he fired his gun due to the numerous shots she heard.”
After the shooting, Prado, who was listed in the Mead High School honor roll in 2017, helped the others gather shell casings and firearms from the vehicle and took them into Cavitt’s residence, Wendt wrote.
However, they apparently missed some. After Spokane Police located the 2002 Hyundai, they searched it on July 13 and found .22 caliber shell casings inside.
A forensic specialist with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office later identified fingerprints from inside the vehicle matching those from Cavitt, Ativalu-Ford and William Garrett.
Cavitt was arrested on Oct. 22 on the charge of first-degree murder and other charges and remains in custody on a $1.1 million bond.
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