The brother of the teen was fatally shot during an exchange of gunfire with Seattle police following an armed robbery Thursday at a 7-Eleven store in downtown Seattle.
King County prosecutors charged a 17-year-old Kent girl as an adult on Tuesday for her alleged role in an armed robbery of a 7-Eleven store last week that resulted in her brother dying during a gunfight that also injured three Seattle police officers.
Adrianna Butts is charged with first-degree robbery and third-degree assault and is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail, according to prosecutors.
Under state law, 16- and 17-year-olds can be charged as adults when they are accused of committing certain violent crimes, including first-degree robbery. In adult court, juveniles face potentially longer prison sentences if convicted whereas in the juvenile system, a juvenile cannot be held in detention beyond his or her 21st birthday.
A second person arrested after the Thursday robbery and shooting will be released pending additional information, according to King County prosecutors.
- 3 police officers shot in downtown Seattle
- 2 wounded police officers identified
- How Thursday’s shooting unfolded
- Robbery suspect killed by officers’ gunfire
- Girl, 17, linked to downtown Seattle police shooting charged as an adult
According to charging papers:
Butts and her brother, 19-year-old Damarius Butts, stole doughnuts, potato chips, a 12-pack of beer and other beverages from a 7-Eleven store at 627 First Ave. in Seattle just after 1 p.m. Thursday. When the clerk ran after them and grabbed Adrianna Butts, her brother showed the clerk a gun in his waistband and demanded the clerk let go of his sister.
Adrianna Butts would later tell police she had given Damarius her handgun because she knew she didn’t have the heart to pull it on someone but knew her brother would, the charges say.
The clerk went back into the store and called 911. Seattle bicycle officers quickly caught up to the siblings, who had given the stolen food to the second suspect, a 19-year-old Renton man, who was waiting outside the store.
When a responding officer grabbed Damarius Butts and attempted to arrest him, Adrianna Butts threw a soft-drink bottle at an officer’s head, then “physically struck him and attempted to place him in a choke hold … enabling her brother to break free.”
She was charged Tuesday with third-degree assault for striking the officer, identified in charging papers as Matthew Merritt. He also suffered cuts and scratches to his knees and legs, and his uniform pants were torn in the fight, the charges say.
According to the charges, Adrianna Butts later told police she could have sliced Merritt’s neck with a pocket knife while he was on the ground, but she said “she was not that type of person.”
“Officers did in fact recover a knife from the defendant’s purse, showing the defendant’s statement was not just an idle threat,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Brian Wynne wrote in charging documents.
The charges provide few details about what happened next:
“Damarius Butts was pursued by other uniformed officers and was ultimately killed during an exchange of gunfire that also left three Seattle Police officers wounded, one of them critically.”
Police later recovered a revolver near the area where Damarius Butts died.
Police on Thursday said Damarius Butts ran into the Federal Office Building, 909 First Ave., and hid inside. It wasn’t until about 4 p.m. that police announced that his body had been found.
A day later, police released patrol-car video that captured the suspect running into a loading dock with officers in pursuit, followed by an audible exchange of gunfire.
Police allege in the affidavit that the revolver used by Damarius Butts belonged to his sister. At 17, Adrianna Butts is too young to legally possess a handgun.
Police confirmed Tuesday the gun was a Smith & Wesson revolver, after initially identifying it as a Ruger.
The injured officers included Hudson Kang, 30, who was shot in the face. He was released from Harborview Medical Center on Wednesday, police said.
A female officer who was saved from serious wounds by her Kevlar vest was identified as Elizabeth Kennedy, 42. She was treated at the hospital Thursday and released.
A third officer, who has not been identified, suffered a minor bullet wound to the hand, police said.
The siblings’ 19-year-old friend, who allegedly waited outside the 7-Eleven, was later arrested at his Renton home. A spokesman for Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said the man was to be released from jail on Tuesday pending additional investigation.
The Seattle Times is not naming the man because he has not been charged.