SEATTLE — A 14-year-old suspected of shooting and killing a student inside Ingraham High School last week could be tried as an adult for first-degree murder.
The suspect was officially charged with first-degree murder, assault in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm on Monday. King County prosecutors filed a motion to move the teen's case to adult court.
A judge will ultimately decide whether the suspect will be charged as an adult at a decline hearing, which means juvenile court declines jurisdiction over the case and it moves to superior court, which tries felony adult cases.
A 15-year-old was also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and first-degree felony rendering of criminal assistance related to the shooting. Based on his charges, his case will remain in juvenile court. He pleaded not guilty on Nov. 15.
Police were called to Ingraham High School around 9:55 a.m. on Nov. 8 for reports of a shooting. Callers said they heard multiple gunshots from within the school, with some saying they were afraid it was an "active shooter," according to court documents.
When police arrived, they found a 17-year-old injured in a hallway of the high school. Officers provided aid until medics were able to take the victim from the scene. The 17-year-old died from his injuries soon after. Investigators later learned he had been shot five times.
Numerous 911 callers identified the 14-year-old as the shooter, with some giving his full name and birthdate to dispatchers and a description of his clothing and the handgun he allegedly used in the shooting, according to court documents.
The 14-year-old was allegedly seen with a Glock-style handgun. Callers said the 14-year-old may have left the school after the shooting.
A photo of the 14-year-old was obtained by the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and distributed to all SPD personnel. Around 11 a.m., officers located him at North 145th Street and Aurora Avenue North on a King County Metro Bus. The 14-year-old was found with the 15-year-old who witnesses said was seen with the 14-year-old at the school.
During a search of the 15-year-old's backpack, police found a Glock-brand, model 32 handgun. There were signs that the firearm was discharged and had run out of ammunition, according to court documents. A records check on the weapon revealed it was entered into the National Crime Information Center as a lost gun on Oct. 28 by the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.
Based on witness interviews, officers learned prior to the shooting there was a fight inside a bathroom that involved the student who died and some of his friends against the 14-year-old and two of his friends.
Witnesses said one of the 14-year-old's friends brought a gun to school and the 17-year-old and his friends wanted the gun. A phone belonging to the 14-year-old may have been taken during the scuffle, according to court documents.
Camera footage from the high school's security system showed the two groups walking toward the bathroom and the 14-year-old taking a fighting stance, court documents said.
After the fight, the two groups were seen leaving the bathroom. School personnel and other students said the 14-year-old and one of his friends looking "noticeably agitated and angry," court documents said. The 17-year-old could be seen laughing at the 14-year-old and his friends as they left the area. The shooting occurred approximately 10 minutes later.
A witness who was with the 17-year-old following the fight in the bathroom said the two groups got into another altercation in the hallway because the 14-year-old believed the 17-year-old had stolen his cell phone. The witness positively identified the 14-year-old as the person who shot and killed the 17-year-old.
Another witness said they saw the 14-year-old and the 17-year-old in the hallway at 9:55 a.m. The witness told police as the 14-year-old passed by the 17-year-old, the 17-year-old said "you're not gonna bust it," which the witness took to mean shooting a gun. Afterward, the witness said they saw the 17-year-old walk away and the 14-year-old pull a gun out of his backpack and shoot the 17-year-old multiple times. The witness's statement was corroborated by school security footage.
Security footage also showed the 14-year-old take a shot at one of the 17-year-old's friends, according to court documents. CSI recovered a fired bullet down the hallway in the direction of where that person fled.
Security video showed the 14-year-old running out of the school holding the gun in his hand. The 15-year-old was seen by an Ingraham High School teacher walking toward the direction of an exit that would have led him outside at the time of the shooting.
The teacher said the 15-year-old had come to her classroom around 9:15 a.m. and was extremely upset, on the verge of tears, according to court documents. The 15-year-old asked to speak with the 14-year-old, who arrived at the teacher's class at 9 a.m., but the teacher said "no." The teacher asked the 15-year-old if everything was OK and the 15-year-old responded "no," but would not elaborate.
The teacher said the 14-year-old asked her for a bathroom break during class, which she granted. When the 14-year-old came back, he was visibly agitated, the teacher said. The 14-year-old asked for a second bathroom break but his request was denied.
Later that day, a woman who lives less than half a mile from Ingraham High School called 911 and said she believed the 14-year-old and the 15-year-old had been in her home that morning.
At around 10 a.m. that morning, her mother alerted her that two teen boys were in her backyard, according to court documents. The two teens told the woman they had fled the high school, where there had been a shooting. The woman invited the boys inside and gave them glasses of water. The teens said they were trying to contact someone for a ride home and were apologetic to the woman and her family about the interruption.
The teens left the woman's home about 30 minutes later after they declined her offer to drive them back to school. The woman said they took off in the direction of Aurora Avenue. The woman photographed the boys without their knowledge and police were able to positively identify them as the 14-year-old and the 15-year-old.