17-year sentence likely for gang-fueled assault in Everett

EVERETT — Snohomish County prosecutors will recommend that a 17-year-old boy be sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison for shooting a brother and sister in south Everett.

Sylius St. Amie admitted that he shot the other boy, 17, three times because of the color of the boy’s shorts. The victim was wearing blue, a color associated St. Amie’s rival gang. The victim isn’t a gang member.

St. Amie also shot the boy’s sister, 14, when she rushed to help her brother.

The defendant pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the Sept. 3 double shooting. He also pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery and second-degree assault for armed encounters in July and August.

St. Amie was charged as an adult because of the serious nature of the crimes. He is expected to spend the first years of his sentence in a state juvenile lockup.

Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Craig Matheson alleged that the south Everett shooting was unprovoked.

The brother and sister were walking with a friend to Discovery Elementary School, where they planned to practice dance steps for an upcoming quinceanera, a traditional celebration to mark a girl’s 15th birthday. They were on a path between the elementary school and Voyager Middle School when they encountered St. Amie, then 16, and three girls.

St. Amie was dressed in red and asked the other boy if he was “repping blue.” In other words, St. Amie wanted to know if the victim was part of a rival gang.

Some witnesses said the boy didn’t answer and others remembered him saying, “no.”

St. Amie opened fire, striking the teen in arm, shoulder and chest. The injured boy’s sister ran to his side and was shot in the leg for her efforts.

St. Amie and his friends ran off, leaving the victims bleeding from their wounds.

They were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The pair has since returned to classes at Mariner High School.

Police tracked St. Amie down after his friends gave up his hiding spot in a house on 115th Street SW. A SWAT team tried to persuade the teen to surrender but he refused. Several hours later tear gas was fired into the house and deputies found the teen lying on a shelf in a closet.

They also found a .22-caliber handgun in the house. The gun was reported stolen May 11.

St. Amie confessed to the shootings. He told police he was angry over a recent fight with his girlfriend.

St. Amie confronted a group of young people in July and asked if they were members of a Hispanic gang. They denied that they were in the rival gang. He pulled a gun from his waistband and demanded a 12-year-old boy’s shoes. He and his companion fled on bicycles.

A month later St. Amie asked a man seated in a car for a cigarette. St. Amie cursed the man out when he said he didn’t have a cigarette. The teen pulled a handgun, pointed the weapon at the man and fired. The bullet missed the victim.

St. Amie is scheduled to be sentenced next week. He faces up to 19 years in prison.

A juvenile detention official on Wednesday requested that St. Amie be moved to the county jail, where he would be held in isolation because of his age.

Superior Court Judge Linda Krese agreed to let St. Amie remain at Denney Juvenile Justice Center until his sentencing. She warned the boy that she would send him to the jail if he created any problems at Denney.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dianahefley.

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