A 17-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Manuel Ortiz Ornelas at a Burien apartment complex.
A dispute over gang graffiti was the apparent cause of a fatal shooting in Burien last week, according to King County prosecutors.
Ernesto Josue Rios-Andrade, 17, of Tukwila, was charged Friday with second-degree murder, accused of killing 18-year-old Manuel Ortiz Ornelas on Tuesday outside the Alturas @ Burien apartment complex at 1101 S.W. 139th St., according to charging documents.
Initially booked into the King County Youth Services Center, Rios-Andrade has since been transferred to the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, where he remains in lieu of $1 million bail, jail and court records show.
Under state law, 16- and 17-year-olds can be charged as adults for serious violent crimes, including murder.
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According to the charges, Rios-Andrade “is known to police as being a member or associate of a local street gang with a substantial presence in the greater Burien area.” Police were also familiar with Ortiz Ornelas, who was an admitted gang member, say the charges, which don’t name the gangs.
In the days before his death, Ortiz Ornelas was upset about “graffiti disrespect,” say the charges, explaining that gang graffiti had been crossed out or altered. The charges don’t indicate who was responsible, but say Ortiz Ornelas had several phone and social-media conversations about the issue.
Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, Rios-Andrade and Ortiz Ornelas got into an argument regarding the gang graffiti, say the charges. “Specifically, this argument centered on the disrespect that was made by someone crossing out all or a portion of one gang’s graffiti ‘logo’ and replacing it with another symbol (or simply crossing out a portion of the original graffiti),” charging papers say.
Rios-Andrade is accused of pulling a gun and firing at Ortiz Ornelas three times, killing him, say the charges. Ortiz Ornelas, who lived nearby, was unarmed.
Rios-Andrade and two other teens fled but were spotted by a witness and an undercover detective and were detained near the scene, the charges say. Rios-Andrade was arrested.
The charging papers also say Rios-Andrade threw away the handgun as he ran, but officers have been unable to find it.