May 20, 2024 3:18 pm

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WinCo fatal stabbing was a targeted attack, Edmonds police say

EDMONDS, Wash., April 30, 2023—Through further investigation and interviews, Edmonds Police Department Detectives have learned that the fatal stabbing of 37-year-old Bret D Northcut of Portland, Oregon, at the WinCo Foods parking lot on the evening of April 19 was not initially an attempted car-jacking or robbery; but instead, a targeted attack by the arrested suspect, Ian S. Bramel-Allen. The suspect happen to only steal the white Kia Sorrento upon stabbing the victim multiple times.

Officers who first responded to the scene were provided with the license plate of the stolen vehicle by witnesses. Through further investigation, detectives learned that the vehicle was owned by a woman staying in Edmonds around the time of the attack. After contacting the vehicle’s owner, it was discovered that her daughter frequently used the vehicle and had been visiting her in Edmonds. The daughter is an acquaintance of the homicide victim and Bramel-Allen. Investigators learned that the victim had been allowed to use the vehicle and go to Winco for food.

A review of surveillance footage showed Bramel-Allen entering the parking lot on foot, walking over to where the victim had parked the Kia, and appearing to open a passenger side door, finding it locked. Bramel-Allen then walked to the front of Winco and sat outside the exit. After a short time, he moved and settled behind a retail kiosk near the exit doors, out of view of people exiting the store. A few minutes later Bramel-Allen followed a male leaving the store into the parking lot. That unknown male was wearing similar clothing as the victim. After following him out into the parking lot and realizing it was not the victim, Bramel-Allen returned to the front of the store and again stood behind the retail kiosk.

A short time later, the victim exited the store carrying a brown grocery bag. Bramel-Allen followed him into the parking lot while keeping both hands in his sweatshirt pocket(s). Bramel-Allen maintained a distance of approximately 20-30 feet behind the victim as they walked. When the victim got within a few feet of the Kia Sorento, the car’s lights flashed, apparently unlocking. Bramel-Allen then ran at the victim and attacked him.

The attack continued for approximately eighteen seconds before Bramel-Allen, and the victim separated. The victim collapsed on the ground in the parking lot. Bramel-Allen returned to the Kia Sorento, got in the driver’s seat, and backed out of the parking spot. Bramel-Allen drove past the victim, still on the ground, before leaving the parking. It was apparent the attack was not random, and Bramel-Allen appeared to have been waiting for the victim to exit the store. How Bramel-Allen found the victim at the Winco is part of the ongoing investigation.

Bramel-Allen remains under guard at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Once medically cleared, he will be booked into the Snohomish County Jail for first-degree murder and first-degree robbery, and Theft of a Motor Vehicle.

The original release is included for reference. Information provided on Edmonds PD Twitter account also offers additional details as the incident unfolded.

Anyone with information about the incident or Bramel-Allen’s whereabouts before or after the incident can contact Detective Patrick Clark by email at or by calling 425-771-0285.

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