Accidental self-inflicted gunshot killed boy near Lynnwood

Detectives were still investigating how Zae’Shaun Easton, 15, obtained the gun that killed him.

LYNNWOOD — A Lynnwood-area teenager killed by an accidental gunshot loved music, sports and “was fiercely loyal to his family and friends.”

Zae’Shaun Easton died around 4 p.m. Saturday in the 2500 block of 204th Place SW, near Lynnwood.

On Tuesday, authorities confirmed Zae’Shaun fired the fatal shot, and that it was an accident.

He was 15.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives continued to investigate how the Mountlake Terrace High School sophomore got ahold of the gun. Detectives don’t believe the weapon belonged to his parents, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Courtney O’Keefe.

The gun wasn’t registered, according to the sheriff’s office. No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the death.

Zae’Shaun attended Jackson High School south of Everett as a ninth-grader. He was just beginning classes at his new school, Mountlake Terrace High School Principal Greg Schellenberg wrote in an email published by the student newspaper, The Hawkeye.

“Zae’Shaun’s friends say that he was into music, sports and was fiercely loyal to his family and friends,” Schellenberg wrote. “Our hearts go out to his family, friends and the many staff who were just getting to know him this year.”

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the death was an accident Tuesday.

As a seventh-grader, Zae’Shaun took a class called “Passport to Manhood” at Voyager Middle School, where boys learned to rethink their definition of what it meant to be a man, and how they chose to interact with adults. The program focused on kids who were struggling in school or at home. The Daily Herald featured the class in a story in late 2016. Many of the kids were without positive male role models and said the lessons helped them to understand what it meant to show respect.

When they started listening, they started learning, Zae’Shaun said in the article.

The hope was to help boys to consider what kind of person they’d want to be when they grew up.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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