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Suspect pleads not guilty after arrest in deadly Lakewood nightclub shooting

Monroe Ezell appears in court Nov. 1, 2018. (KOMO News photo)

LAKEWOOD, Wash. - A man has pleaded not guilty after his arrest in connection with the deadly shooting at the New World VIP Lounge in Lakewood last month that killed one person and wounded three others.

The suspect, Monroe James Ezell, 30, was arrested Wednesday by the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and is now charged with second-degree murder in Pierce County Superior Court, according to Lt. Chris Lawler with Lakewood Police.

But in a Thursday court hearing, Ezell proclaimed his innocence.

"I’m trying to find out why I’m here," he told the judge. "I didn’t do nothing. I didn’t do s---, man.” He later struggled with guards and shouted as he was led out of the courtroom.

Bail was set at $2 million.

The shooting happened on Oct. 21 at the club on South Tacoma Way. It appears there were multiple shooters and shots may have come from inside the club and outside the building, police said earlier. About 20 shots were fired.

Surveillance footage from a nearby business captured the shooters running from the scene.

Three people were found wounded at the scene and were rushed to a nearby hospital, where one later died. A fourth wounded person was taken to the hospital by friends.

The victim who died was later identified as Terrance King. He had been shot in the back. Two of the injured victims also were shot in the back, according to court documents

Police are continuing to look for the other suspects in the shootings, Lawler said.

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