Police: Soldiers arrested in Summerville soldier's stabbing death

Parking lot where Spc. Geike was killed. (Source: KOMO-TV)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (WCIV) - Three fellow soldiers have been arrested and charged with the stabbing death of an Army specialist from Summerville in Washington state over the weekend.

According to a release from Lakewood (Wash.) Police Department, an Army sergeant contacted detectives to say that a soldier in his unit asked for first aid for a friend's knife wound on his right hand.

When asked about the injury, the soldier said his friend, identified as Jeremiah Hill, did it when stabbing 20-year-old Spc. Tevin A. Geike to death over the weekend. The sergeant confronted Hill, police said, who denied the allegation and instead said he cut his hand chopping vegetables.

At a nearby hospital, Hill told medical staff that he cut his hand while working with parachute cord, police reported.

Another soldier who police say was with Hill at the time of the stabbing said he was with Hill and several other friends on Pacific Highway when words were exchanged between the group in the car and the group with Geike.

Police said the two sides backed off when they realized most of them were active duty soldiers. One of the soldiers in the car told police Hill bear-hugged Geike and pushed him to the ground. The soldier said Hill was covered in blood then, according to police.

The group then fled the area and got rid of the knife, the soldier told police. Another suspect in the car confirmed the details.

Hill has refused to make a statement and has asked for an attorney, police said.{}

Two other suspects, identified as 21-year-old Cedarium Johnson and 21-year-old Ajoni Runnion-Bareford, have been charged with murder and booked into the Pierce County Jail.

Officials said the case would be tried in Pierce County, Wash. A bond hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

According to Joint Base Lewis McChord officials, Geike died from wounds suffered during an altercation while with friends in Lakewood, Wash. The incident is being investigated by the Lakewood Police Department.

Police were initially investing the murder as a hate crime, but said in the most recent release that race was not a motivating factor.

All five of the suspects are active duty soldiers assigned to the combat infantry unit, police said.

Base officials said Sunday Geike, of Summerville, S.C., was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-158th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division.

According to Charleston County School District officials, Geike graduated from Stall High School in 2010.

According to unit records, Geike joined the Army two years ago and reported to Fort Jackson, S.C., for basic training. Following graduation, he reported to Fort Rucker, Ala., for Advanced Individual Training as an aviation operations specialist.

Geike arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in April 2011, according to base records supplied by officials. He was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4-6th Attack Reconnaissance Squadron, 16th CAB, as an aviation operations specialist.

In October 2011, he was reassigned to the 2-158th AHB.

Geike has been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and Aviation Badge.