Police: Teen confessed to Greenwood killing

by: Deborah Horne Updated:

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SEATTLE - Byron White told Seattle police detectives he killed 54 -year-old David Peterson late last month while Peterson was on his nightly walk in his Greenwood neighborhood.  

According to court documents, White tried to steal Peterson's cellphone. When he couldn't do that, he walked away. As he did, Peterson called 911. The teenager told detectives that's when he turned back, pulled a handgun out of his waistband and shot Peterson once in the chest. Then he stole Peterson's cellphone and fled. 

 "It's our responsibility to see this through." Peterson's brother, Greg, spoke publicly for the first time about his brother's violent death.

 "You know this is a very significant tragedy in our life," said Greg Peterson. "And we're not just going to walk away from it."

He talked to reporters after he and his brother's widow witnessed the briefJuvenile Court proceeding for White, who did not show up. 

 The 17 -year-old played football at Ballard High School this year, after transferring from Renton's non-traditional Secondary Learning Center.

 White was arrested at Sea-Tac Airport Saturday as he tried to board a one-way flight to Atlanta. He was apparently trying to escape the impact of the murder already being felt by his victim's grieving family. Greg Peterson applauded White’s arrest.

  “I appreciate the work the city’s police has done, that’s for sure,” said Peterson.  “In finding a suspect this quick after such a tragedy.”

 Seattle police said the two people with White that night have been picked up. But they were just witnesses.

 The  King County prosecutor has until Wednesday to charge White with murder or let him go. Until then, he remains in juvenile detention.