Three men were charged Monday with first-degree murder, accused of gunning down a 25-year-old man inside his family’s apartment during a botched home-invasion robbery in Sammamish last week, according to King County prosecutors.
Fabian Alvarez lived in an apartment in the 4500 block of Klahanie Drive Southeast with his mother and three younger brothers, say the murder charges, which indicate his 17-year-old brother was the target of a robbery apparently set up by a 16-year-old boy.
Charged in the case are Montreal Morgan, 24, of Bellevue and Jonathan Hansen, 21, and Elijah Bryant, 18, both of Renton.
After abandoning Morgan’s Mercedes near the shooting scene, all three men spent the night hiding from police in the woods, prosecutors say. The next morning, Hansen and Bryant were arrested about a mile north of the shooting scene, barefoot, dirty and covered in scratches, according to the charges. Morgan, who was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, was arrested Thursday afternoon, after police pulled over a minivan and he was found hiding in the back under a blanket, charging papers say.
Morgan is being held in lieu of $1.5 million bail, while Hansen and Bryant are each being held in lieu of $1 million bail, jail and court records show. Though Morgan has prior felony convictions, the other men do not.
According to the charges:
The 16-year-old boy and Morgan had communicated via Snapchat but met for the first time Wednesday, the day of the shooting. When Morgan asked if the boy knew anyone they could rob, the 16-year-old identified Alvarez’s 17-year-old brother, who sold cannabis, vape products and other drugs, according to the charges. It does not appear the 17-year-old knew any of the men charged in his brother’s death.
Morgan and the teen then picked up Hansen and Bryant and drove to the 17-year-old’s apartment around 8:15 p.m., where the 16-year-old was turned away without making a purchase and was told to come back in an hour.
The 16-year-old had to go home to make curfew, and after being dropped off, the charges say Morgan took over communicating with the 17-year-old via Snapchat.
There was a second knock at the family’s back door around 9:30 p.m. and two or three men pushed their way in, jamming a gun in the 17-year-old’s abdomen and forcing him to the floor, according to the charges.
Alvarez, who had been sleeping on the couch, ran to his brother’s aid when he heard the commotion and attempted to push the men out of the apartment, the charges say. Their 19-year-old brother also ran to help. During the struggle, Alvarez was shot multiple times and later died at Harborview Medical Center.
The brothers pushed two men out the back door while a third ran through the apartment and out the front door, the charges say. Two different shoes and a fanny pack were later found inside the apartment, left behind by the assailants, according to the charges.
King County sheriff’s detectives interviewed Alvarez’s family members and were able to identify the 16-year-old, which enabled them to identify Morgan as a possible suspect, say the charges.
As investigators were completing processing the shooting scene Thursday, several people called 911 to report seeing two or three men emerge from the woods in the 800 block of 228th Avenue Southeast.
Bryant and Hansen were arrested but Morgan escaped custody at that time, though was later arrested after leaving a Bellevue hotel.
It is unclear from the charges who is suspected of shooting Alvarez: During interviews with detectives, police say Hansen, who was armed with a .45 caliber handgun, and Bryant, who had a 9 mm handgun, both claimed they gave their weapons to Morgan, who then fired, according to the charges. Police say Morgan claimed he remained in the car while Hansen and Bryant went into the family’s apartment, charging papers say.
Under state law, all three would be considered equally culpable as alleged participants in the robbery, regardless of who actually shot and killed Alvarez.
The two guns were located in the trunk of Morgan’s Mercedes, which was found abandoned in a neighbor’s driveway soon after Alvarez was shot, the charges say. It does not appear anything was stolen from the family’s apartment.