Crime

Bellingham native who served in Marines shot to death in Florida

PLANTATION, Fla. — A Bellingham, Wash., native who had served in Iraq with the Marines was gunned down at his Florida apartment complex this week.

David Lawrence Nelson II, 31, was shot Tuesday evening, July 17, in the parking lot of the Harbor town Apartment Homes where he lived. The slaying suspect, Jaime E. Vogel, 47, of Hialeah, was jailed without bond early Wednesday on one count of premeditated murder, court records show.

Thursday, Nelson's relatives were mourning.

"He was an exceedingly kind, loving, thoughtful man," said Nelson's sister-in-law, Kate Fadden, 35, of Bellingham. "We're just deeply saddened. There are no words that can portray what a good person Dave was."

After serving in the Marines, David Nelson did military contract work, then took a job as a computer-networking specialist, Fadden said.

As part of his computer-networking job, he and his then-fiancee, Marla Fadden, moved two years ago from Bellingham to Plantation. In September, they married.

Kate Fadden said she was proud to be Nelson's sister-in-law. "He was an amazing, amazing brother," she said.

Police said they still are trying to figure out what led to the killing. Vogel's relatives live at Harbor Town, and he, too, may have previously lived there.

Police have interviewed witnesses and relatives of both men, but none has indicated the two had any kind of ongoing quarrel, police said. Fadden said she doesn't know the motive, either. Still, she said her family "feels that this was an act of hate."

About 6 p.m. Tuesday, police received a call about gunshots. Nelson was found lying in the apartment complex's parking lot. He was bleeding. Witnesses said Nelson's attacker, later identified as Vogel, shot him as Nelson tried to get away. Nelson fell to the ground, and Vogel kept shooting, witnesses said.

Vogel then walked off and disappeared, police said.

About 8:30 p.m., when residents were allowed back into their apartments, Vogel’s wife, visibly upset, approached officers, police said. The woman said Vogel had taken pills and was lying on the floor of his relatives' apartment, police said.

Vogel was taken to a hospital for evaluation, then jailed, police said.

In 2005, Vogel was arrested in Orange County on the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but the case was dismissed, state records show. Vogel's relatives and friends couldn't be reached for comment Thursday despite phone calls to listed numbers.

In addition to Nelson's wife, Nelson is survived by his sister, Tasha Malouf, of Bellingham.

His funeral will be held in Bellingham. Arrangements are pending.

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