King County Sheriff’s detectives say a 13-year-old Burien boy shot a stranger in the back of the head last week, later claiming he was depressed and “just felt like doing it.” The 35-year-old victim died two days later at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The teen was arrested Friday in Renton and on Saturday, a judge found probable cause to hold the boy in the King County Youth Services Center on investigation of homicide, according to Casey McNerthney, a spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg.
Though 16- and 17-year-olds charged with murder are automatically charged as adults, younger teens are subject to what is known as a decline hearing, during which a judge must decide whether to decline juvenile jurisdiction and transfer a case to superior, or adult, court. McNerthney said prosecutors are still reviewing the case against the 13-year-old and a decision hasn’t yet been made whether to request a decline hearing. Criminal charges are expected to be filed Wednesday.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified Hassan Ali Hassan, who died Thursday, as the shooting victim.
On Tuesday, the teen followed the victim for a block, walking west along South 152nd Street, then pulled a gun from his pocket and shot the man in the back of the head just after 9 p.m., according to the probable cause statement outlining the sheriff’s case against the teen. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott said the shooting occurred in the 400 block of South 152nd Street, directly across from the Highline Performing Arts Center.
The man who was shot fell to the ground unconscious, and a 9 mm shell casing was found 20 feet from his location, says the probable cause statement. People who live in the area called 911.
The statement says the teen ran east through apartment complexes and knocked on the window of a friend’s apartment. The teen showed his friend the gun and asked to be let in; the friend went to talk to his family, then heard sirens and noticed the teen was gone from the window, according to the statement.
Detectives obtained video-surveillance footage that allowed them to track the shooter from the Burien Transit Center most of the way to the shooting scene and then back to the transit center, the statement says.
The teen had been living at his ex-girlfriend’s house and the girl’s mother told detectives the teen had left the house Tuesday morning and had not been seen since, according to the statement. She also discovered that her 9 mm handgun was missing.
On Friday, detectives spotted the teen walking in the 300 block of South Third Street in Renton and arrested him, the statement says.
Detectives say the teen admitted to shooting the man, claiming he was depressed and felt if he didn’t kill someone he would kill himself. He also told detectives he “just felt like doing it,” according to the probable cause statement.