Graduation bittersweet for Garfield seniors after death of Murphy-Paine

SEATTLE — The 2024 graduating class of Garfield High School are ending their high school careers on a bittersweet note.

“I kind of woke up and I started like freaking out because to me it still hasn’t hit me yet,” Adreal Manansala, one of the graduates, said.

Although Monday there were plenty of reasons to celebrate the success of this graduating class, there was a somber tone in the air. It’s been nearly two weeks since 17-year-old Amarr Murphy-Paine was gunned down during lunch time at GHS.

“There’s just like a feeling of concern because that’s just something that shouldn’t happen at a school environment and I know it happened just as school was ending so it’s very scary for everyone and my heart and thoughts, prayers out to that family of course,” Manansala said.

Despite videos and photos circulating social media, the shooter has still not been identified or caught by police.

“There’s a lot of information on IG and we can’t base a search warrant affidavit on something we’ve seen on IG, we have to talk to people, we have to validate what they’ve seen,” Interim Police Chief Sue Rahr said.

However, one possibility that could be hindering the investigation is House Bill 1140 which was signed into law in 2021.

“What we’re seeing here is an example of what happens when politicians pass a law without fully thinking through the consequences,” Mark Lindquist, the former prosecuting attorney for Pierce County, said.

The law requires police to provide anyone under the age of 18 with an attorney before the individual waives any constitutional rights. Lindquist said it doesn’t give law enforcement enough room to talk to juveniles before lawyers get involved, likely shutting down investigations before they can start.

“Until this law is modified and takes into account real world consequences, we’re going to see more unsolved crimes, we’re going to see more youth violence and we’re going to see more victims,” Lindquist said.

The same law appears to be what is standing in the way of the unsolved murder of Mobarak Adam who was murdered in the bathroom of a teen center in West Seattle in January.

“We have not been able to interview the witnesses it’s part of the legislation of interviewing them with their attorneys so we’re working hard to try to make sure we can understand what happened in that bathroom because somebody has the answers,” Former Police Chief Diaz told KIRO 7 about the investigation back in March.

Jamie Kvistad, a senior prosecutor for King County and Lead for the Safer School Strategy said the law requires council to be provided in certain circumstances but not all.

“It’s not necessarily applicable to an investigation a detention for investigation a lot of times it’s sort of circumstantial whether or not law enforcement does have probable cause to arrest, whether or not the child is actually in custody,” Kvistad said. She said she could not comment on the specifics of the deaths of Murphy or Adam because the investigations are ongoing.

“There undoubtedly are people out there who know what happened people who could assist in the investigation but that doesn’t do any good if the police can’t actually talk to those people,” Lindquist said.

KIRO 7 reached out to Seattle Police for an update in regard to Murphy-Paine and Adam’s deaths and were told there is no update.

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