King County prosecutors say a 41-year-old Federal Way man who was working security at a Renton pot shop donned a ballistic vest Monday, jumped in his car, chased down people who had allegedly committed a robbery and fatally shot a 17-year-old boy in the back of the head.
Michael Leemoui, who was arrested Monday night after he returned to Buddy’s Cannabis in the 400 block of Sunset Boulevard North, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, court records show. He remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office identified Antonio Garcia Fonseca as the 17-year-old who was shot. His death was ruled a homicide.
According to a GoFundMe fundraiser to help his family, Garcia Fonseca was a senior at Sammamish High School in Bellevue.
Janine Thorn, a spokesperson for the Bellevue School District, said Garcia Fonseca enjoyed playing soccer and was remembered by his peers as an outgoing student with a loving and playful spirit. Grief counselors held socially distanced group sessions for students at the high school over three days this week, she said.
Shortly before 7:30 p.m. Monday, a man made a purchase at Buddy’s and then walked north on Sunset Boulevard North, where he was confronted by a group of four or five males, charging papers say. One person in the group pointed a gun at the man’s face and demanded he hand over his valuables.
After he was robbed of his phone and other possessions, the man ran back to Buddy’s while the group of males ran south on the other side of the street, then hopped a fence and ran west, say the charges.
The man yelled that he had just been robbed, pointed to the group across the street, and was ushered inside Buddy’s to call 911, according to the charges.
Another patron in line outside the business saw a security guard he recognized from previous visits and realized the man, later identified as Leemoui, intended to give chase in his white sedan, the charges say.
As the guard put on a ballistic vest, the patron offered to help and climbed into the front passenger seat, say charging papers.
The patron later told police the group of males split up and two of them headed into an alley between Factory and Meadow avenues North; the driver chasing them stopped his car on North Fourth Street, rolled down his window and yelled to them not to run or he would shoot, say the charges. He fired two shots and one of the males fell to the ground before the driver returned to Buddy’s, where the patron got out of the car, according to prosecutors. He then drove away but later returned, according to the charges.
A woman who lives near the shooting scene called 911 and reported hearing gunfire and seeing a white sedan drive by her house, say the charges. Police responded but couldn’t find evidence of a shooting.
Minutes later, a second 911 caller said he heard gunfire and then discovered a body in an alley. Charging papers identify the victim by his initials, A.G., and say he died at the scene. Police recovered the stolen cellphone and found two .40-caliber shell casings in the street, the charges say.
A little after 11:20 p.m., investigators saw Leemoui move his car from the back parking lot to a spot in front of Buddy’s and questioned him. According to police, Leemoui told officers he and a customer had gone looking for the robbery suspects but didn’t see anyone, say the charges.
Police obtained video-surveillance footage from Buddy’s that showed the patron and Leemoui interacting while Leemoui put on a ballistic vest and, the charges say, it appeared at one point in the footage that he had a pistol in his hand.
Police also obtained a warrant to search Leemoui’s car and found a .40-caliber handgun in the glove box; preliminary ballistics tests showed the weapon matched the shell casings found at the shooting scene, according to the charges.
Leemoui has felony convictions for third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful possession of firearm so is not legally allowed to own guns, according to the charges.