Murder charges filed in fatal gas station shooting

SEATTLE - King County prosecutors have filed first-degree murder charges against a 29-year-old man accused of gunning down two gas station employees during a confrontation in the south Seattle suburb of Kent.

At the request of prosecutors who filed the charges Monday, Leland Dean Russell Jr. was ordered held without bail.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg called the Aug. 20 shootings that killed David Christianson and Carlos Gonzales "an absolutely senseless and outrageous act of gun violence that claimed two innocent lives."

According to court documents, Russell told police that someone else had instigated the confrontation by using racial slurs as he and a companion stopped at the gas station. Prosecutors say witness accounts show Russell and his friend were "rude, provocative and combative" toward customers and employees before they were told to leave by the unarmed victims.

Prosecutors allege that Russell deliberately shot both victims multiple times at close range.

Arraignment was set for Sept. 4.