Seattle police say Roger Mize instigated a fight with another man aboard a Metro bus, then pistol-whipped him before shooting him once in the abdomen. The man later died at Harborview.
An 88-year-old Everett man was charged last week with first-degree manslaughter, accused of recklessly shooting a man aboard a crowded Metro bus in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood in January, according to King County prosecutors.
Using video footage from multiple cameras on the coach, Seattle police determined Roger Mize instigated an argument with Ronnie Tyler, 51, after the two men boarded a RapidRide C bus on Fourth Avenue South at South Walker Street just after 11 a.m. Jan. 26, according to the charges.
After boarding behind Mize, Tyler attempted to pass him and Mize allegedly called Tyler an offensive name. There was a verbal exchange, before Tyler pushed Mize, the charges say.
As the bus started moving, Tyler gave Mize a harder push, causing Mize to stumble. The two stared at each other for a couple of seconds, then Mize pistol-whipped Tyler with a gun, twice striking him in the head, say charging papers. The driver stopped the bus and tried to stop the fight.
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Mize struck Tyler in the face a third time, then shot him once in the abdomen, the charges say. Tyler shoved Mize out of the bus. As Mize fell backward, he fired a second round that was later found embedded in the coach’s pay box, say the charges.
Tyler collapsed on the stairs of the bus and later died at Harborview Medical Center. Mize suffered a head injury and was also treated at Harborview.
Mize was discharged from the hospital and is receiving inpatient care at a rehabilitation facility in Everett, court records show. He was issued a summons and is to appear for arraignment in King County Superior Court on Thursday, the records say.
Citing Seattle police records, the charges against Mize say he shot another man in the abdomen at the Union Gospel Mission in October 2013. The shooting victim survived his injury but had no memory of getting shot, the charges say. Since there were no witnesses or video footage of the altercation, police could not corroborate or refute Mize’s claim he shot the man after the man grabbed him, according to the charges. As a result, a criminal case was not referred to the prosecutor’s office and Mize was not charged in that incident.
The Seattle police detective investigating the fatal bus shooting obtained an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) against Mize to bar him from accessing additional firearms, according to court records. A temporary order was issued last week, and a hearing for a judge to decide whether to bar Mize from possessing guns for one year is set for next week, the records show.
The “extreme risk” law, which was overwhelmingly approved by Washington voters in 2016, allows police and family members to petition a judge for an ERPO to keep firearms out of the hands of people believed to pose a danger to themselves or others even if there is no criminal behavior.
According to the detective’s petition for the ERPO, Mize purchased a .38-caliber revolver in April and has a concealed pistol license issued by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office that expires later this year. In November, Mize told Everett police he confronted a man he saw assaulting a woman and pointed a gun at the man because Mize was concerned he was going to be assaulted, the petition says.