A “chill” summer party among a hospitable group of high-school friends, many of whom had known each other for years, turned to horror when shooting erupted around a fire pit early Saturday morning.
The summer gatherings at the upscale Mukilteo home with sweeping views of Puget Sound were “chill” events. There were bonfires and music and friends just kicking back.
“Nothing too wild or crazy,” said Jansen Garside, whose longtime friend Jake Long frequently attended the get-togethers in the large home. The loose-knit group was made up mostly of alums of nearby Kamiak High School, Garside said.
That high-school hospitality turned to horror early Saturday, when police say a Kamiak graduate walked into the home with a rifle and opened fire, killing his former girlfriend and two other students, and seriously wounding a fourth. The teen who hosted the party was not injured. It was not clear if his parents were home.
Slain UW student remembered
The University of Washington Bothell will hold a community support gathering at 1 p.m. Monday on the second floor of the Activities and Recreation building. Students, staff and faculty are invited to remember Anna Bui and to provide and receive comfort, the university said in a statement.
Source: UW Bothell
It was the third deadly mass shooting in Washington since June, claiming the lives of a trio of 19-year-olds who were friends with each other and, by almost all accounts, with the young man accused of taking their lives.
What was left Sunday was a shattering grief that left many in the community stunned into silence.
Among the dead were Jake Long, a talented baseball player who had just returned to Washington after spending a year at school in Florida; Anna Bui, a gifted singer who attended the University of Washington Bothell and recently had returned from Europe; and Jordan Ebner, another 2015 Kamiak graduate who loved baseball and had been attending Everett Community College, according to family and friends.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner on Sunday formally confirmed the deaths, ruling the victims all died from gunshot wounds.
The Washington State Patrol arrested 19-year-old Allen Christopher Ivanov, a Mukilteo resident and 2015 Kamiak graduate who had dated Bui and also attended UW Bothell. He was picked up about 90 minutes after the shooting, on Interstate 5 near Chehalis, nearly 100 miles away.
According to Gov. Jay Inslee, who spoke at a Sunday night memorial for the victims, troopers found an “assault-type rifle” on the front seat of Ivanov’s Subaru WRX.
Ivanov, of Mukilteo, has been booked into the Snohomish County Jail and is expected to make his initial court appearance Monday afternoon.
Anna Ivanov, the suspect’s mother, said Sunday the family has hired an attorney but did not identify the lawyer. “I cannot talk right now,” she said, sobbing. “Thank you for understanding.”
Ivanov was considered a bright if reserved computer student who had co-founded a laser-tag game company called Skirmos in 2014. Dave Wakeman, an adviser to the company, described him as “pretty intelligent but pretty quiet,” and said he continued to do web development for Skirmos.
Friends said Ivanov had dated Bui before a breakup earlier this year.
Ivanov also was working at the Apple Store at the Alderwood mall in Lynnwood, according to a person who answered the phone there but referred further inquiries to Apple officials in California.
Wakeman said as Ivanov went to college and branched out into new things over the past year, his role in the company shrank.
The Skirmos team wasn’t aware of anything in Ivanov’s life that would suggest he would act out violently, Wakeman said. He said the colleagues were appalled that somebody they knew was accused of such a crime and could have had access to such a deadly weapon.
“It’s one thing to have pretend laser tag. It’s another thing to have this kind of access to weapons of destruction,” Wakeman said.
Most Read Local Stories
- Coronavirus daily news updates, May 25: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation
- In an uneven coronavirus pandemic, some Washington counties may still have a long way to go before reopening
- How missed 'red flags' helped Nigerian fraud ring 'Scattered Canary' bilk Washington's unemployment system amid coronavirus chaos
- Coronavirus daily news updates, May 24: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation
- Inslee: Some Washington counties won't move to second phase of coronavirus reopening plan on June 1
Ivanov is suspected of storming the party with at least one gun, shooting the victims as they stood around a backyard fire pit. One victim, 18-year-old Will Kramer, survived and was taken to Harborview Medical Center with multiple gunshot wounds. He was listed in serious condition Sunday.
His father, Paul Kramer, said his son is “strong and he’s coming through this.”
“This circle of friends, they will stick together through this tragedy,” he said. Several have already visited him at the hospital, his father said.
He described his son as “athletic and fun-loving” and a student at the University of Washington. He said that his son and Ivanov were friendly, but that there had been signs that Ivanov was “losing his grip” on reality and was sliding toward violence.
“There were clues ahead of time,” he said, but he did not elaborate.
Ivanov was posting on social media in the days before the shooting, including posting photos of a rifle to social media and sending a series of cryptic tweets on his Twitter account two days before the shooting, according to media reports and friends.
“First and last tweet,” he wrote on July 28. “I’ve been through it all.”
He then tweeted “What’s Ruger gonna think?” a possible reference to the American arms manufacturer.
“My heart is aching with grief for the families who lost their children,” the senior Kramer said. “I’m deeply grateful that my son is alive and survived.”
Mukilteo Police Chief Chuck Macklin said Sunday that his detectives have served four search warrants — two on homes, one on Ivanov’s vehicle and another to collect DNA and other forensic evidence from Ivanov in the Snohomish County Jail.
The chief said detectives seized computers from his home and have sent requests to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social-media sites asking them to preserve postings that might shed light “as to what his motive was and how long he may have been planning this, whether there was premeditation.”
Macklin confirmed that the shooter had used a rifle and that officers had recovered shell casings at the scene. He could not say, at this point, if the weapon was the one depicted in an Instagram post by Ivanov two days before the shooting showing an AR-15 assault-style rifle loaded with a 30-round magazine, with three bullets lying nearby.
Anna Bui: ‘kind, sweet and intelligent’
For Anna Bui, this had been a summer of discovery. She had ventured to Europe for a month, staying in hostels as she explored from The Netherlands to Spain, according to a longtime friend, Matt Bettencourt, who stayed in touch with her during the trip.
Before leaving Europe, Bui was distraught by the breakup with Ivanov, who had decided to end the relationship that had stretched back more than a year to their days together at Kamiak High School.
But when she returned home in early July, she appeared reinvigorated, enthusiastic about the future and moving past Ivanov.
“When she came back, she was a totally different person. She was happy and free, and felt like she didn’t need him anymore,” Bettencourt said. “She wanted to go out again and travel and meet new people and felt like you didn’t need material things to be happy.”
Bettencourt said he was stunned by the news of her death.
“This makes no sense to me,” Bettencourt said. “I have no words to describe how I feel right now. I am feeling mad, sad — every emotion in the book.”
Bettencourt and others said that Ivanov was more reserved than the outgoing and bubbly Bui. He said Ivanov could be controlling while the two were a couple but that Bui never expressed to him any concern about violence.
Many of Bui’s friendships, including those with Bettencourt, were forged during her time at Kamiak, where she participated in choir and was part of an a cappella group known as The Starry Knight and had a role in the stage musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”
But she also was drawn to service, telling friends and her employer that she wanted to become a nurse. At the time of her death, she was working weekends at the Caring Cabin Adult Family Home in Bothell as a certified nursing assistant.
“She was very kind, sweet and intelligent,” said Anne Beale Yancey, owner of Caring Cabin. “She was very good working with seniors.”
Yancey said that she was told by Bui about the ending of her relationship with Ivanov before her trip to Europe.
But just the weekend before her death, Ivanov was once again reaching out to Bui. He texted her via cellphone, but Bui said she was going to ignore the texts, Yancey said.
“I think this really came out of the blue. We talked about it, and she never indicated any fear,” Yancey said.
Jordan Ebner: athletic and well-liked
Jordan Ebner, the older of two sons, graduated from Kamiak in 2015 and enrolled later that year at Everett Community College, according to a family member who asked not to be identified.
Athletic and well-liked, Ebner grew up with a close group of friends, played baseball and worked at an auto-detailing shop during and after high school, the relative said.
Ebner most recently had lived with his father, Brad, in Lake Stevens.
Jordan Bettencourt, 19, Matt Bettencourt’s brother and a 2015 Kamiak graduate who knew all of the victims, said he met Ebner in middle school. The two bonded over jokes and a shared sense of humor. Another classmate, who said she grew up with Ebner, took to Instagram to share her condolences:
“Jordan, you were truly the kindest person, and your sweet heart will forever live on,” the post says. “You will forever be missed.”
Jake Long: ‘always there for people’
Autumn Snider, the mother of Jake Long, said her son had been friends with the group of students since about fifth grade. She said her son was a “phenomenal” baseball player who caught for his high-school team and had played select ball.
He had spent the first part of his freshman year after graduating from Kamiak at the University of Southern Florida but had returned home to attend Washington State University, where he had planned to get a degree in nursing or business.
“He was telling me that he wanted to transfer back because it was just too far away from home, and he wanted to be nearer to friends and family,” said Jansen Garside, who said his friendship with Long dates to the fourth grade when they both joined a special program known as Summit for what the Mukilteo School District calls “highly capable students.”
Throughout his time in school in Mukilteo, friends and family say that Long excelled in both academics and sports.
At Kamiak High, where he graduated in 2015, he took advanced-placement courses, tackling math and science and exploring drama. He also developed into an outstanding baseball player who could pitch, play second base and was a catcher during his senior year.
“He was so gifted that he could play any position,” his mother said.
She also recalls how he would wake up extra early every morning during his last year at high school to take his younger brother and sister to day care.
Long this summer had been working making sandwiches at the Shoreline Community College cafe, living away from home but coming to visit each week, Snider said.
“Jake was a kind soul. He was always there for people, and very devoted to his siblings,” Snider said.
Friends said Long was also a loyal friend, who the night of his death was texting to set up a future gathering of middle-school classmates Saturday. The host of the party where he died Friday was another old classmate, and Long had hung out at the house for years in what were usually low-key gatherings.
His mother said Saturday that she has no information about what happened during the attack.
“All I know is that I have a son who is dead,” Snider said.