Police say a fatal shooting last month on Seattle’s Beacon Hill was motivated by the theft of an embossing machine used to make counterfeit credit cards. A 19-year-old man was charged with second-degree murder in the death of a 31-year-old man.
A 19-year-old man was charged this week with second-degree murder, accused of fatally shooting another man on Seattle’s Beacon Hill in July over the apparent theft of a machine used to make counterfeit credit cards, according to police and prosecutors.
Kenny Kim-Phannary Am, who is described as “semi-transient” in charging documents, has remained in jail since his arrest Aug. 11 on a state Department of Corrections warrant and three misdemeanor warrants, according to court and jail records.
He was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder, though King County prosecutors have reserved the right to amend the charge to first-degree murder should Am’s case proceed to trail, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O’Toole wrote in charging papers.
Though his bail has been set at $2 million, Am is being held without bail on the DOC warrant for a 2015 case in which he stole a car and eluded police in Federal Way, jail and court records show. At the time of his arrest in the 2015 case, Am was living in Kent.
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Am is accused of opening fire on Patrick Khamphouvong just after 8 p.m. July 24, killing the 31-year-old with a gunshot to the neck, charging papers say.
According to the charges:
Khamphouvong was driving a white SUV and as he pulled into the driveway of a house in the 9300 block of 39th Avenue South, the driver of a green Honda pulled up to the driveway, blocking the SUV in.
A man and a woman got out of the Honda and went to the driver’s side of the SUV while Am, the Honda’s front-seat passenger, went around to the SUV’s passenger side, opened the door and pointed a handgun at Khamphouvong, say the charges.
The other male ordered Khamphouvong out of the SUV but instead, Khamphouvong slammed the car into reverse and sped out of the driveway, striking the Honda and continuing across the street, coming to rest in the front yard of another residence.
As Khamphouvong accelerated, Am fired a 9-mm handgun six times from outside the SUV’s front passenger door, striking Khamphouvong once in the neck, say the charges.
After the SUV came to rest, Khamphouvong stumbled from his vehicle and collapsed on the sidewalk on the west side of 39th Avenue South. He died at the scene.
During the homicide investigation, Seattle police interviewed witnesses who identified Am as the shooter, charging papers say. Detectives also say Am admitted he shot Khamphouvong, who Am believed owed him money, say the charges.
According to police, “Am further stated Khamphouvong had stolen the embossing machine (used to create counterfeit credit cards) from him, and that he was angry that Khamphouvong ‘was helping everybody else out except me,’ ” charging papers say.
The charges say Am planned to steal Khamphouvong’s SUV and recover the embosser, which was found inside Khamphouvong’s vehicle. Police say Am told detectives he later went to a Mercer Island park and threw his gun into Lake Washington, according to the charges.
Though police say Am agreed to show detectives where he had thrown the weapon into the lake, the charging documents don’t indicate whether the gun was recovered.