Hoquiam Police Chief Myers confirms today in a social media post that the incident where a 25-year-old Hoquiam man was stabbed and killed on Monday was over the victim asking for his stolen iPhone back.
On Monday, February 28, 2022 at approximately 1448 hours, Hoquiam officers were dispatched to a reported stabbing at a motel in the 2400 block of Aberdeen Ave.
Witnesses to the stabbing provided a clothing description of the suspect; one witness on the phone with 911 actually followed as the suspect ran westbound from the motel.
While responding to the scene, Officer Slater spotted the suspect in the 400-block of 24th Street; when the suspect saw the patrol car, he turned and ran toward the nearby alley.
Officer Slater detained the suspect until the arrival of other officers, at which point the suspect was taken into custody. In addition to matching the description, the suspect appeared to have bloody abrasions on his hands and the back of his head.
Meanwhile, Animal Control Officer Taylor and Detective Peterson were the first HPD units to arrive at the motel. Detective Peterson performed CPR on the male victim laying in the parking lot next to a walkway in front of the motel at the bottom of stairs leading to the second floor until the arrival of Hoquiam paramedics.
The victim was later identified as Armando Carlos Reyes, age 25, of Hoquiam; Reyes was employed as a maintenance worker at the motel.
Several witnesses, apparently residents at the motel, yelled that Reyes had been stabbed by the suspect and both had also tumbled down the stairs. It appeared Reyes had suffered multiple puncture wounds and may also have been injured in the fall.
A knife was recovered at the scene.
Hoquiam paramedics provided emergency treatment at the scene to Reyes as additional officers and detectives responded to the scene. The YMCA was notified, but not locked-down as the suspect was already in custody.
Aberdeen PD officers assisted in securing a crime scene perimeter and interviewing witnesses.
Paramedics continued to perform CPR and administered several rounds of emergency care in an attempt to save the Reyes before transporting him to Community Hospital.
Detectives were later advised Reyes had been pronounced dead at the hospital from his injuries.
Detectives and members of the crime scene mapping team spent several hours processing the scene. This included interviewing witnesses, conducting a three-dimensional FARO scan of the scene, securing a search warrant for the motel room associated with the suspect and downloading the security camera footage of the attack.
The department also spoke by phone and met with distraught family members of Reyes who arrived at the scene.
The investigation indicated that the suspect, Michael A. Trujillo, age-33 had been staying at the motel since his release from prison in January.
Reyes was working in a vacant motel room next to Trujillo’s room when Reyes had to leave to get some more supplies. When Reyes returned to the room, he discovered his I-phone had been stolen.
After reviewing security video of the theft, the motel manager and Reyes contacted Trujillo and asked him to just return the phone so no one would have to call the police. Apparently, Trujillo initially denied having the phone, but eventually threw it outside.
Reyes was apparently upset about his phone and started to walk away when Trujillo emerged from his motel room and repeatedly stabbed Reyes with a fixed-blade sheath knife. The attack continued on the landing from the room, around the corner and half-way down the stairs leading to the parking lot before both Reyes and Trujillo tumbled to the pavement below.
Trujillo was briefly dazed from the fall, stumbled around in the parking lot, and then fled the scene where he was captured by Officer Slater about a block away. Reyes remained at the bottom of the stairs where Detective Peterson found him and started CPR.
Trujillo was held in the Hoquiam City Jail overnight before being interviewed by detectives on Tuesday. He was then transferred to the Grays Harbor County Jail on felony theft and murder charges.
Trujillo made a preliminary appearance in Grays Harbor County Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon where he was charged by the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office with murder in the second degree- armed with a deadly weapon and theft in the second degree for the stolen I-phone.
The judge found probable cause for the charges, assigned defense counsel and set an initial bail for Trujillo at $750,000. He will be arraigned in the next two weeks.
An autopsy is being conducted today and detectives from HPD and APD are continuing to follow-up on leads and evidence.
The department wants to express our deepest condolences to the family of Armando Reyes, including his mother, father and other close family in the community, as well as his girlfriend and their two small children.