Seattle police on Friday released footage from SWAT officers’ body cameras showing the fatal shooting of an armed robbery suspect who fired at officers in a South Seattle backyard Wednesday afternoon. He was one of three men police say robbed a Bellevue cannabis shop before leading police on a pursuit that ended in Seattle’s Hillman City neighborhood.
His two accomplices, Anthony Barajas Robledo, 20, and Rex Eckman, 19, both of Renton, were charged Friday with first-degree robbery in connection with the takeover robbery at Green Theory, located in the 12800 block of Southeast 40th Place, in Bellevue’s Factoria neighborhood, according to King County prosecutors.
Barajas Robledo, who was also wanted for robbing a Kent convenience store at gunpoint in January 2019, was also charged with first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, court records show. He remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Barajas Robledo and Mauricio Martinez Yanez, 19, are identified in charging papers as the men who robbed Green Theory, and Eckman, who was also charged with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, was identified as the getaway driver.
Eckman does not appear to have prior criminal convictions, but Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Phillips noted he recently moved to Washington and so his ties to the community are unclear, the charges say. His bail was set at $100,000 on Wednesday and jail records show he was released just after 12:30 a.m. Friday.
Officers Noah Zech and Carl Anderson were identified as the two Seattle Police Department SWAT officers who fired their rifles at Martinez Yanez, according to a post on the department’s online blotter.
Zech, 40, was hired by SPD in 2005 and has been a SWAT officer since 2013, while Anderson, 46, was hired in 2001 and has been a SWAT officer since 2008, according to a Seattle Times database of city employees.
Both officers are on paid administrative leave, which is department policy following a fatal shooting. Seattle police typically release body camera footage from shootings within 72 hours.
The charges filed against Barajas Robledo and Eckman note that the entire robbery was captured on video and say during the police pursuit, the suspects’ vehicle hit speeds of over 80 mph, ran multiple red lights, drove in a center turn lane and sped through a construction zone. A tracking device hidden with the stolen cash provided police with real-time location data.
Bellevue police on Thursday released video from surveillance cameras at Green Theory that shows how the takeover robbery unfolded.
The video shows two masked men enter and hold employees at gunpoint. One of the men wore a black puffy jacket, while the second wore a red puffy jacket.
The man in the black jacket hurdles a counter and forces an employee upstairs, where he takes cash from what appears to be a safe. The second man forces an employee behind the counter to empty the cash registers.
The two men seen in the video and the driver of their getaway car drove west on Interstate 90, then south on Interstate 5, crossing into Renton, before heading north on Rainier Avenue South into Seattle, with speeds at times exceeding 70 mph, said Meeghan Black, a Bellevue police spokesperson, on the day of the robbery.
After the car got to Seattle, one of the wheels came off, and the men abandoned it at South Findlay Street and 37th Avenue South, according to Black.
The video released by Seattle police begins with a still-frame of the two robbers inside Green Theory, with a time stamp of 11:29 a.m. Wednesday, and continues with a timeline of events leading up to the shooting.
At 11:38 a.m., Bellevue police notified Seattle police they were following the suspects’ vehicle on I-90 but left Seattle city limits, returning to Seattle at 12:05 p.m. and requesting assistance, the video shows.
The vehicle was found at 12:12 p.m. and SWAT officers began making their way to the scene at 12:21 p.m., with the first team members arriving 13 minutes later. Police attempted to make verbal contact with the suspects who where hiding in a shed but got no response, according to the police timeline.
At 12:43 p.m., one of the suspects — the man in the black jacket seen in the Bellevue police footage — indicated he wanted to surrender and came out of the shed with his hands up.
The video then shows footage from three officers: Two appear to be looking into the yard from inside a house. The third officer appears to be in the backyard taking cover behind an ivy-covered wall.
One of the officers at the back of the house yells, “Show me your hands, red coat. Red coat, show me your hands … Both your hands,” the video shows.
The screen fades to white with text explaining the suspect then shoots at the officers.
The officer, heard yelling, fires seven rounds and another four rounds can be heard in the distance, followed by screaming.
The other officer at the back of the house reports, “Red coat is armed. He took a shot at officers. He’s down inside the shed but still moving,” according to the video.
Footage from the officer in the backyard shows the man in the black jacket lying facedown on the grass with the man in the red jacket standing behind him at the shed’s entrance, a gun in his right hand. It shows the officer firing his rifle four times.
The video ends with photos of two guns police say were recovered from the scene.
According to charging papers, Barajas Robledo was armed with a Glock handgun and Martinez Yanez was armed with an Uzi-style handgun during the Green Theory robbery.