King County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a 22-year-old man with second-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a man who was standing at a bus stop in Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood in June when he was ambushed by two gunmen.
Sadiq Aroni, whose last known address is in Des Moines, is accused of driving the unidentified shooters to and from the homicide scene, according to charging papers. The two gunmen remain at large.
Initially arrested July 13 but then released pending further investigation, Aroni was arrested again Thursday in Federal Way and remains jailed in lieu of $1.5 million bail, jail and court records show.
Aroni, who is not legally allowed to possess guns, was also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm after Seattle police found a loaded .40-caliber handgun under a floor mat in his distinctive Volvo sedan, charging papers say.
Preliminary ballistic tests show the gun is believed to be one of two weapons used to gun down Tay’zauhn Burns-Miller just before 1 p.m. on June 22 at a bus stop in the 2900 block of Rainier Avenue South, near the Mount Baker Transit Center, the charges say.
Although the charges say Burns-Miller was 17 at the time of his death, an obituary published by The Facts Newspaper indicates he was killed five days after his 20th birthday.
People who witnessed the shooting told police two men approached Burns-Miller and opened fire, continuing to shoot even after Burns-Miller had collapsed, according to charging papers. Burns-Miller was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:43 p.m.
Another witness, who was a passenger in a car that was initially stopped at a red light, told detectives he saw two men get out a white car with a red front fender, shoot the man at the bus stop, then run south on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South to South Hanford Street, where they jumped into the back seat of the same white car, the charges say.
Video-surveillance footage obtained by police did not capture the Volvo dropping anyone off but did show two suspects walking from the north end of the transit center and hiding behind pillars as they watched the victim, who was standing out of sight of the cameras, the charges say. After the shooting, the same two suspects were seen on video running south to the waiting Volvo; the driver was also seen throwing an item into the bushes, which turned out to be a magazine speed loader recovered by police.
After a law-enforcement bulletin was released with photos of the suspect vehicle, a parking-enforcement officer spotted the Volvo on June 25 in the 700 block of 13th Avenue. Police found Aroni and impounded the car, the charges say.
In addition to the .40-caliber handgun found under the car’s floor mat, police also found a puffy jacket and athletic shoes in the trunk that were consistent with clothing worn by one of the shooters, the charges say.
Aroni is to be arraigned Aug. 9. Court records do not yet indicate which defense attorney is representing him.