Police continue to investigate the death of an 18-year-old high school student who was shot by an Arlington homeowner over the weekend. The homeowner told police he believed the teen was trying to break into his house.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the teenager Wednesday as Todd C. Smith and confirmed he died of gunshot wounds the night he was shot. He was a senior at Arlington High School and was supposed to graduate this week, according to friends.
Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies responded to the 19800 block of 106th Avenue for a call of a burglary in progress and shots fired about 4 a.m. Saturday, Everett police said at the time.
The Everett Police Department Major Crimes Unit took over the investigation at the request of the Sheriff’s Office after it was discovered that Smith was related to a Snohomish County deputy.
According to an Everett police statement on Monday, Smith had been at a graduation party but left alone at some point and found himself at a nearby house.
The homeowner, a man in his 60s, told police he had heard pounding on his back laundry room door and thought someone was trying to break in, the statement said. He armed himself and opened the door to find a “shirtless stranger,” police said. The homeowner told Smith he was armed and to leave his property, but Smith started to walk toward the homeowner, who fired his weapon, police said.
After shooting Smith, the man asked his wife to call 911, according to the statement. Smith died after being transported to the hospital.
As of Wednesday, the homeowner had not been charged or arrested, an Everett police spokesperson said.
Thayne Adams, one of Smith’s friends and classmates, said a few days later that the worst part about losing his friend was that he doesn’t understand how the shooting happened. It’s a “huge, muddled confusion,” Adams, 18, said.
Adams was also at the graduation party Friday night and said nothing seemed out of the ordinary until he was leaving and saw ambulances blocking the street.
“It’s just devastating,” Adams said. “We all fought so hard through 12 years of school. … We were right there, as close as you could get. It hurts my heart to say the least.”
The two met their freshman year at Arlington High School in theater production class, Adams said, describing Smith as an outgoing “ball of energy” and “one of the funniest people you could ever meet.”
“If you were having a bad day, it didn’t matter — he could make you laugh no matter what,” he said. “It was hard not to like the kid.”
Adams is one of nearly 6,000 people who have signed a petition urging police to arrest the homeowner. In a description on the petition, another one of Smith’s friends wrote that Smith “ended up getting lost on his way back up to a neighboring friends home, and ended up outside of a neighbors home. … He posed no threat, as he was unarmed, and disoriented, and the use of force used in this situation was absolutely unnecessary.”
Police declined to share any further information about the investigation Wednesday.