SPOKANE, Wash. – The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating after a Puyallup man apparently stabbed a Spokane taxi driver to death in Kootenai, Idaho on Tuesday.
Bonner County Sheriff officials said Jacob Coleman, 19, flew from Seattle to Spokane with the intention of starting a new semester at college. Coleman said he was denied entry to Gonzaga, became angry and began to have homicidal thoughts.
Gonzaga University officials said he never applied, though a man matching his description did appear on campus and get turned away.
Coleman then apparently hailed a cab and asked to be driven to Bonner County. BCSO said in a release he became increasingly homicidal in the cab and eventually stabbed the driver, Gagandeep Singh, 22, of the Spokane Valley.
People reached out to KREM on social media to ask if the crime was racially motivated.
Bonner County Sheriff’s Office officials said they do not believe it was.
“In this day and age, that’s the first thing we start exploring and we either want to rule it in or rule it out as quickly as we can,” Ror Lakewold, from BCSO, said. “From the very onset, we’ve explored the possibility that this is racially motivated and found nothing to indicate that it was.”
Lakewold said investigators believed it was a “crime of opportunity.”
“As we continue the investigation we’ll continue to explore that possibility but we don’t believe that it’s going to go in that direction,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t want to get into the details of what transpired up to this point, but there’s nothing to indicate that a race or this person was even remotely singled out.”
Lakewold said an autopsy was performed on Singh Tuesday, and they expected the results next week. The suspect, Coleman, is slated for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Coleman is charged with first degree murder.