LYNNWOOD — What started out as a marijuana deal arranged over a social media site turned into a bloody confrontation that left one teenager with a serious head injury and another with a gunshot wound to the back.
The alleged shooter, Chase Rooks, is now charged with a felony in connection with the May 12 fracas at a Lynnwood home. The shooting victim, Payton Haggett, is scheduled to be arraigned this week on a first-degree robbery charge. He’s accused of setting up the drug deal with the intention of stealing the dope from Rooks, according to court papers.
Rooks allegedly shot Haggett as Haggett was sprinting back to his vehicle with a duffel bag full of marijuana.
Meanwhile, another teen, Nathaniel Swenson, rolled over quickly, pleading guilty to second-degree assault a month after being charged. He is serving a nearly four year stretch in prison. The 18-year-old was accused of clobbering Rooks in the head with a shotgun during the robbery.
The dope deal gone bad came to light when both Rooks, 19, and Haggett, 17, showed up at Swedish Edmonds in bad shape. Lynnwood police learned that Haggett had been shot in the back and the bullet had penetrated his stomach. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Officers found Rooks in a wheelchair. He was barefoot and bleeding from a wound to his head. His face and back were covered in blood. He reportedly lied to police about what happened, saying he’d been hit while he was walking near the Perrinville Market in Edmonds, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Katherine Wetmore wrote in charging papers.
His parents showed up and after he talked with them he changed his story. He told police he hadn’t been honest but knew he was in hot water for having a gun. That right had been stripped when he was convicted of robbery as a juvenile.
The transaction had been set up over Snapchat, Rooks explained. He knew Haggett from Meadowdale High School and the two made arrangements to meet up. He heard a knock around 12:30 a.m. When he opened the door, Haggett allegedly pulled a large handgun.
Rooks grabbed Haggett’s wrist, trying to knock the gun out of his hand. That’s when Swenson appeared, wearing a ski mask and sunglasses and toting a sawed-off shotgun. As Haggett and Rooks struggled over the gun it discharged. No one was hit.
Haggett allegedly clobbered Rooks with his handgun and Swenson bashed him with the shotgun, Wetmore wrote. Rooks broke free, threw the duffel bag of marijuana at the two. The robbers fled the house. Rooks grabbed a .22-caliber gun and fired at the running men.
Once Haggett and Swenson were in the car, Haggett reported he’d been shot. Swenson drove him to the hospital.
Rooks and Swenson both spoke with investigators. Haggett allegedly told detectives he wanted to cooperate but promised his mom that he wouldn’t talk until he had a lawyer. Police didn’t ask any more questions.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.