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From the Associated Press:

A Lowcountry soldier stationed near Seattle, Washington who was fatally stabbed during an altercation in Lakewood, Wash., on Saturday has been identified.

The Army said Sunday that Spc. Tevin Geike, of Summerville, was an aviation operations specialist and a member of the 7th Infantry Division. He entered the Army in October 2010 after graduating from Stall High School, according to his Facebook page. He arrived in Washington in 2011.

Glenn Zimmerman was walking with Geike and a group of about 15 after celebrating the end of a friend's military service. That's when Zimmerman said the situation turned from a celebration to a tragedy.

"A car drove by, yelled something about them being white. One of my buddies said something about disrespecting a combat veteran," he said to our NBC affiliate in Seattle, Washington.

That's when police say five African American men in their mid twenties pulled over and started an argument. One man allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Geike multiple times.

"When I first saw his body, I didn't even stop. I just kept going," Zimmerman said. "I wanted to find the people who did it so bad."

Police have yet to find the suspects. Investigators are examining whether the attack was a racially motivated hate crime.

Zimmerman is still searching for answers.

"I hoped I would have woke up this morning, and he was still there. I pray it was just a nightmare. He was taken before his time."

An autopsy is planned for Monday morning.

Image courtesy of WCBD-TV, via KING-TV.