By Diana Hefley Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — A 16-year-old boy claimed he was high on cocaine when he accidentally shot another teenager earlier this month.
Court documents show that the boy has a history of violence and served time behind bars for an unprovoked attack on a 12-year-old last year. The year before he was convicted of assaulting a security officer at Marysville Getchell High School.
Now, the boy is accused of shooting a 17-year-old in the neck inside a Marysville apartment. A bullet lodged in the injured boy’s spine, according to court documents. His injuries were considered life-threatening.
Prosecutors have charged the suspected shooter, a convicted felon, with third-degree assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful gun possession.
The Herald is not naming the boy because he is charged as a juvenile.
The early morning shooting happened May 18 inside an apartment in the 8700 block of 67th Avenue. Witnesses told police that several young people were gathered in the apartment when the suspect walked in carrying a handgun and a box of ammunition. A group of people reportedly walked next door to Cedarcrest Middle School and repeatedly fired the gun, according to court papers.
The group returned to the apartment. Some began using cocaine, witnesses told police.
After his arrest the boy told detectives he’d been high and was dancing around the living room when the gun went off, court records said.
There is no indication that they boys were fighting or angry at each other, Marysville police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux said. Detectives believe the suspect was playing with the gun, pointing it at others.
“He created a situation that resulted in gunfire,” Lamoureux said.
The injured boy tried to call 911, but the suspect allegedly took the teen’s cellphone from him. Others loaded the hurt boy into a car and drove him to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. He later was taken by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
An emergency room doctor told police that the bullet nicked the boy’s carotid artery and lodged in his spine. He has since been released from the hospital and is recovering, Lamoureux said.
The suspect hid from police. Detectives learned that he was holed up in home near Cedarcrest Middle School. Marysville SWAT members were called in. They arrested the teen about eight hours after the shooting was reported.
The boy allegedly told detectives that he had traded a 9mm handgun for the .22-caliber gun he brought to the apartment. He said the shooting was an accident. He also predicted that he’d spend a lot of time behind bars for shooting the other boy, court papers said.
The teen told police he had fled the hospital and retrieved the gun. He said he buried the gun, but dug it back up and gave it to someone to hold, detectives wrote.
Police have recovered the gun, Lamoureux said.
The boy has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is scheduled to be court again next month.
The teen was sentenced to up to nine months in juvenile detention last year for an unprovoked beating. He and more than a dozen others surrounded three other boys, who were walking to a movie theater. A 12-year-old was beaten unconscious. He suffered broken facial bones, court papers said.
The attack happened just two days after the defendant was released from juvenile detention for another assault.
He also has a misdemeanor assault conviction for attacking a school security guard in 2012. He swung at the guard who was trying to protect another student from the teen.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.