Ten minutes before a 17-year-old Ingraham High School student was fatally shot in a hallway last week, he was involved in a fight in a bathroom with five other students in a failed attempt to take a handgun from one of the teens, according to King County prosecutors.

The 14-year-old suspected shooter, who was also involved in the bathroom fight, was charged Monday with premeditated first-degree murder in the 17-year-old’s shooting death and also with first-degree assault, as charging papers say he is accused of shooting at a second 17-year-old boy.  

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Prosecutors also filed a motion Monday seeking a discretionary decline hearing, asking a juvenile court judge to decide whether to allow the 14-year-old to be criminally prosecuted as an adult, court records show. If the case were to remain in juvenile court and the 14-year-old was convicted of murder, under state law he would have to be released from custody at age 21. Should the case be transferred to adult court and result in conviction, the judge would have the discretion to impose any sentence deemed appropriate.

A 15-year-old boy, who was arrested with the 14-year-old on a Metro bus in North Seattle about an hour after the fatal shooting, was charged with first-degree felony rendering criminal assistance. A Glock 32 handgun was found in the 15-year-old’s backpack, charges say. Both teens, who aren’t old enough to legally have guns, were charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The teens, who have been in juvenile detention since their Nov. 8 arrests, are to be arraigned Tuesday, when a judge is expected to revisit the issue of their detention as they await trial.


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The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to publicly name the 17-year-old victim because investigators are still working to scientifically confirm his identity, according to a spokesperson with Public Health — Seattle & King County. Scientific identification typically involves identifying someone through fingerprints or dental records.

But the charges against the 14-year-old say video footage and the results of an autopsy show the older teen was shot five times from behind, with the presumed fatal shot striking him below his left earlobe.

All of the teenagers involved in the Seattle Police Department’s shooting investigation are identified only by their initials in charging papers, which is standard when referring to minors.

The Seattle Times typically does not name juveniles accused of crimes unless they’re charged as adults.

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Preliminary ballistic tests matched the Glock 32 handgun found in the 15-year-old’s backpack to eight .357-caliber shell casings found in the school’s hallway, according to the charges. The gun was reported as “lost” to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 28, but the charging papers don’t say how it ended up in the hands of a student at the North Seattle high school or who reported it missing.

A teacher at the school later told police the 15-year-old came to her classroom at 9:15 a.m. on Nov. 8 and begged her to let him speak with the 14-year-old, charging papers say. She denied his request and described him as being “extremely upset and on the verge of tears,” but he wouldn’t tell her what was wrong, say the charges.

Soon after, the 14-year-old was allowed a bathroom break and was “visibly agitated” when he returned to class, say the charges, adding the teacher denied the teen’s second request for a bathroom break a few minutes later. When class ended, the 14-year-old was even more agitated and the teacher saw him punch a fist into his palm, prompting her to report her concerns to school security at 9:35 a.m., according to charging papers.

About 10 minutes later, six teens — the 17-year-old and two friends and the 14-year-old and two friends — squared off in a bathroom and fought over the gun, which one of the 14-year-old’s friends had brought to school, charges say. During the scuffle, the 14-year-old’s cellphone may have been taken by one of the others.

After the fight, the 14-year-old and his friends left the bathroom first and the 17-year-old can be seen in the video footage laughing at them as they left the area, according to the charges.

Another student, who wasn’t involved in the fight, later told police the 14-year-old and one of his friends approached the three older students in the hallway at 9:55 a.m. and as they walked past each other, the 17-year-old was heard saying, “You’re not gonna bust it” — essentially, that the 14-year-old wouldn’t fire the gun, say the charges.  


That’s when the 14-year-old pulled a gun from his backpack and shot the 17-year-old from behind and continued to shoot after the older teen fell to the floor, the charges say. Other students in the hallway “immediately ducked and ran,” including the second 17-year-old student who was shot at, say the charges.

The 14-year-old was seen on video running out of the school with a gun in his hand while the 15-year-old was seen by a teacher heading toward an exit at the time of the shooting, say the charges.

A photo of the 14-year-old was distributed to all Seattle police and an officer located the two teens on a Metro bus at North 145th Street and Aurora Avenue North at 11:02 a.m., the charges say. The gun found in the 15-year-old’s backpack was empty of ammunition.

A woman who lives less than a half-mile from the high school later called police after seeing news reports about the shooting and the subsequent arrests. She told detectives that around 10 a.m., she saw two teens she didn’t know in her backyard and invited them inside after they told her there had been a shooting at their school, say the charges.

The woman, whose offer to drive the teens back to school was turned down, surreptitiously photographed the pair before they left her house about a half-hour later, the charges say. Her photo matched those taken of the suspects by police when they were arrested, according to the charges.