KING COUNTY, Wash. - Two teenaged boys—ages 14 and 16—were charged Thursday in connection with a series of violent crimes spanning two weeks, which police say began with an armed carjacking, and ended with a hit and run collision and a crash during a high-speed chase with police—where police say the 14-year-old was behind the wheel.
In between, police say the two teens robbed at least four people at gunpoint, fired several shots randomly into an occupied car, pistol-whipped a man in the face, and fired shots randomly into two Seattle homes in three separate drive-by shootings within the same night. Police say one of the shootings left a 7-year-old boy injured when bullet shrapnel hit him while he slept in his bed.
The names of the teens were revealed in charging documents Thursday—which also indicate the 16-year-old had been arrested twice before, for a 2018 carjacking and for an assault on a retail clerk on July 10. KIRO-7 typically does not name juvenile suspects unless they are charged as adults. A juvenile court judge allowed the 14-year-old to return home with electronic monitoring.
Neighbors along 51st Avenue South heard a series of shots early Saturday morning, in one of two drive-by shootings where police say the same teens targeted a house in the 9900 block. Police say the 7-year-old boy who was injured in the home was hit during the second shooting that morning.
“It's a scary feeling to wake up and hear that,” said neighbor Gene Rollins, who has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years. “It could have happened to anybody here,” he said. “I mean it could've been the same thing, any one of us could have been hit.''
Seattle Deputy Police Chief Marc Garth Green called the crime spree “Unfathomable.” “How do these kids get to that level of violence and harm people in that manner, be so negligent just disregard for other people's safety?” asked Garth Green. “And it's traumatic for the community."
According to police, the stolen car collided with another vehicle with several people inside when police tried to pull the teens over. Police say the pursuit ended when the 14-year-old driver failed to make a sharp right hand turn and crashed into a concrete barrier. Police say the teen boys and a 14-year-old girl ran from the crash and tossed a pistol off the bridge, but all were immediately detained by police.
“I'm glad they’re caught,” said Rollins. “That was a relief. A lot of times they don't catch them, but now they did and yeah, we feel a lot better."
According to a Seattle police blotter post:
“Three juveniles led police on a pursuit in the South Precinct on July 27th before officers arrested them in connection with a series of robberies and a recent drive-by shooting.
Investigators believe that on July 26th, the trio of suspects committed three armed robberies in the Ballard/Fremont neighborhoods. In each incident, the suspects were similarly described and reportedly left in a white Ford sedan. In one of the robberies, a victim was assaulted. In each reported case, the suspects had fled prior to the police arriving. Despite an extensive search, police were unable to locate the suspects nor the white Ford near the scene.
Investigators learned that a white Ford sedan had been taken on July 25th in an armed carjacking in Renton. The suspect description and circumstances were very similar to the robberies in North Seattle. Detectives shared the vehicle and suspect description with patrol officers throughout the department.
On July 27th, at approximately 1:30 am, police responded to a reported drive-by shooting in the 9900 block 51st Avenue S. Officers arrived and located that one of the occupants of the home, a small child, had been injured from shrapnel that had entered the house. Seattle Fire responded and treated the injured child. Fortunately, the injuries were not life-threatening.
Thirty minutes later, police received another report of a drive-by shooting at an unoccupied house near 25th Avenue and East Pine. There were no injuries. The suspect vehicle was described as a white Ford sedan with several occupants.
Approximately an hour after that, South Precinct officers found the suspects’ white Ford and began to pursue it. The white Ford was involved in two minor collisions, with the final one disabling it on the northbound I-5 exit ramp to the West Seattle Bridge. Three suspects attempted to flee but were quickly apprehended by SPD officers and Washington State Patrol. One suspect threw a handgun off the freeway ramp, but officers were able to locate and recover it in the greenbelt below the freeway.
The three suspects, one 16-year-old male, a 14-year-old male and a 14-year-old female, were transported to police headquarters, where they were interviewed by detectives. Following the interview, the two males were booked into the Youth Services Center on a number of charges, while the female was released pending further investigation.
This remains an active and ongoing investigation. The vehicle was impounded pending a search warrant. SPD detectives will be coordinating with other law enforcement agencies to see if these suspects are connected with any similar crimes in other jurisdictions.”
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