The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged two teenage boys, 17 and 15, in a case involving shots fired at sheriff’s deputies. Reading through the documents, we learned that investigators suspect they were responsible for Last Friday afternoon’s West Seattle gunfire case, involving a man shot at after “confronting” alleged racers. The charging documents say this was part of a reported spree involving “young males … in a silver-green Honda firing shots over a 24-to-48-hour period,” starting in Burien last Thursday, continuing in White Center, and then the West Seattle incident the next day. Last Saturday, prosecutors say, deputies spotted the Honda and a seven-mile pursuit ensued, during which shots ere fired at the deputies’ car. The suspects’ car and a law-enforcement vehicle eventually collided and three people ran away. Prosecutors say the 17-year-old was found hiding nearby with two 9mm “ghost guns” at his feet. Ammunition that had been ordered online was found in the vehicle and in two bags belonging to the two teenagers. The 17-year-old was believed to be the passenger and the 15-year-old, the driver.
Here’s how the charging documents say their alleged spree unfolded:
At 8:40 am last Thursday, a call came in about gunfire in the 600 block of SW 120th in Burien. Deputies found two casings but no injuries or property damage. People in the area mentioned a 4-door Honda Civic. About an hour and a half later, a call came in from a man who said he was riding his bicycle on SW 107th in White Center when someone in a Civic almost hit him. He and the car’s occupants “exchanged words” – and then a passenger in a car shot twice at the rider, missing him the first time, then hitting him in the leg. This shooting was recorded by the security video system of a nearby Metro bus. Detective circulated images from the video.
The next day at 3 pm, Seattle Police were called to investigate gunfire on West Marginal. Here’s how these documents say that happened:
The suspect vehicle … was driving erratically and was possibly racing another vehicle on West Marginal Way. The vehicle was passing other vehicles in the center turn lane. As they all approached the busy intersection, (the victim) ended up beside the suspect vehicle for a red light. (The victim) began exchanging words with the suspect driver about his driving. (The victim) then got out of his vehicle and continued the exchange of words. At some point (the victim) says he kneed the suspect vehicle, At this, the driver and passenger each pulled out guns and pointed them at (the victim, who says) they said something to the effect of “You don’t want to mess with us.” (The victim) then backed away and the driver took one gunshot at his vehicle. The gun then appeared to have jammed (and then) the front passenger leaned across the driver and fired two shots into each of (the victim’s) vehicle’s tires.
Witnesses took photos/video that enabled investigators to match the vehicle with the one involved in the White Center shooting the day before. And WC is where, 7 hours later, deputies spotted the car, parked, but it was driven away before they could move in. Four and a half hours later, they spotted it again, this time on the move in downtown Burien. They pursued the vehicle south, and it was around Des Moines where deputies say they were shot at. The pursuit ended after the driver wound up in a dead-end cul-de-sac. That’s where three people bolted, all caught within a few hours after what the documents describe as a massive search.
Two boys are charged in connection with the pursuit and that gunfire – charges are not yet filed in the other cases, including the West Seattle incident. The 17-year-old passenger alleged to have done most of the shooting is charged as an adult, so we’re identifying him, Evan T. Nguyen of Burien. He is charged with two felonies, first-degree assault with a firearm and second-degree unlawful firearm possession. The 15-year-old is charged with three felonies, first-degree assault with a firearm, second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle. (The third boy who was in the car has not been charged.)
Before the charges were filed, at their first appearances this past Monday, prosecutors argued that both should remain in juvenile detention. The judge agreed for the 15-year-old, but allowed the 17-year-old to be sent home with electronic monitoring. Now that he’s charged, prosecutors say, a judge has agreed to a $500,000 warrant to book him back into custody; we don’t know his current status. Nguyen has a previous felony firearms case pending in a case that killed a 19-year-old man in Burien (he’s not charged in the death because it was possible self-defense); the 15-year-old has no record.