Police Beat

2015 0401 taxi driver

The victim in the shooting of a taxi driver in Mount Vernon on Monday night has been identified LisaMarie Eason, a 46 year old resident of Anacortes and a driver for Mert’s Taxi, a familiar sight around Anacortes.

Eason’s family has established a fund at gofundme.com to help pay for her funeral services. The page includes the plea that they’re trying to raise money to give her a home-going service, a celebration of life. “Anything helps, even a dollar.” Visit the page here.

Mert’s Taxi has posted a statement on its Facebook page, “Thank you all for the overwhelming prayers and condolences as we grieve the departure of a coworker and friend.”

According to court documents, Eason picked up Solomona Luteru, 29, of Puyallup, as a taxi fare Monday night at the Swinomish Casino & Lodge. Security video at the casino showed a man getting into the taxi van while dressed in dark clothing that matched descriptions of the man seen later running from the scene of the shooting.

Then at 9:41 pm, officers responded to a 911 call in the 400 block of South Third Street in Mount Vernon. The female driver was found dead inside the taxi with an apparent gunshot wounds to her head.

Less than an hour later, officers connected Luteru to another carjacking along the Mount Vernon revetment. Court documents said Lutru forced the woman driver of that vehicle to give up her car and cell phones. Police pinged the cell phones and followed them south on Interstate 5.

On Tuesday morning, police discovered the phones and stolen vehicle inside a Lakewood community and arrested Luteru, wearing a bloodstained shirt and carrying a .45 caliber handgun.

Luteru is being held in the Skagit County Jail on investigation of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery. A bail hearing is set for April 9.

Photo: gofundme.com.

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