Man Accused of Killing Two Federal Way Bartenders Still at Large, Prosecutors Say


An arrest warrant has been issued for a 31-year-old man believed to have fled the state after fatally shooting two bartenders and injuring a patron last week outside Federal Way's Stars Bar & Grill.

Samuel Ramirez Jr.'s whereabouts are unknown, but cellphone records indicate he left Washington after killing Katie Duhnke, 37, and Jessyca Hohn, 36, in the bar's parking lot early May 21, say the charges. His last known address is in Compton, California.

Ramirez was charged Thursday with second-degree murder and premeditated first-degree murder, accused of shooting Duhnke, then turning his gun on Hohn, charging papers say. He was also charged with attempted first-degree murder for shooting a male patron in the arm as the man ran away, say the charges.

Though Ramirez does not appear to have a violent criminal history, he's considered a flight risk and faces a sentence of 60 to 80 years in prison if convicted, Deputy Prosecutor Raymond Lee wrote in charging papers.

Federal Way police responded at 3:30 a.m. to the shooting near South 312th Street and Pacific Highway South, where the male victim told officers someone had killed two of his friends, the charges say. Police found Duhnke and Hohn dead in the Stars Bar & Grill parking lot, just south of the intersection on Pacific Highway South.

The injured man later told police he had seen another bar regular — later identified as Ramirez — brandishing a gun about 45 minutes before the shooting, according to the charges. The man reported alerting Duhnke and Hohn, who confronted Ramirez about the gun, the charges say.

Police later obtained surveillance footage that corroborated the man's account, according to the charges.

Duhnke and Hohn were leaving the bar after closing up when Ramirez hit one of them, prompting the male patron to tackle and punch Ramirez, charging papers say. The man let Ramirez up after he said he was done fighting, the charges say, but Ramirez got to his feet, pulled a gun and shot the two women and fellow customer.

Hours later, a woman called 911 and asked to speak with police about the double homicide. She told detectives she had met a man she knew as "Sam" on a dating app and was supposed to meet up with him earlier in the day, according to charging papers. The man had unexpectedly canceled their date, the woman said, and later told her he was sorry, had messed up and needed to leave.

The woman also shared three photos "Sam" had texted her. The man in the photos was wearing the same clothing seen in the bar's surveillance footage, the charges say. Detectives also obtained a bar receipt from the night of the shooting with Ramirez's name on it.

An autopsy revealed Duhnke had been shot once in the head and Hohn had been shot once in the head and three times in the back, charging papers say.

Hohn, née Milles, was born in Alaska, grew up in the Spanaway-Graham area of Pierce County and graduated from Spanaway Lake High School, her family said in a statement Tuesday. She was a single mother to her son Lucas, 14, and "was always a ray of sunshine to all who knew her," the family said.

"We mourn a beloved daughter, sister, grand-daughter, mother, 'auntie' and friend," says the statement, which also thanks friends, family and strangers for their support.

But the statement is also tinged with anger over senseless gun violence:

"How is it so easy to end not only one life but two within seconds? ... [We] hope that [the shooter] knows that her son's whole world was shattered by this one senseless act. Not only is our system broken but so are our hearts."

Efforts to contact Duhnke's family were not successful.