Everett man identified as victim of deadly gunfire at party

William Thomas Harper III, 28, was shot to death Sunday. His alleged assailant is jailed.

EVERETT — An Everett man who was shot to death at a stranger’s house party has been identified.

William Thomas Harper III and a woman, both 28, were walking past a home late Sunday in the 6500 block of Beverly Lane when the host of a neighborhood party, Ryan Leenders, 35, invited them to come inside, according to police reports filed in court this week.

Everett police said Leenders made unwanted sexual advances during the party, and when he was turned down, he held Harper and the woman, 28, at gunpoint. Harper stepped in front of the woman, and Leenders fired around 10:40 p.m., according to police.

Harper died at the scene from gunshot wounds. An autopsy later confirmed the death was a homicide, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office announced Wednesday.

Leenders, a career Boeing machinist, declined to speak with police at the scene, and he asked to confer with an attorney.

Detectives booked him into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder. He remained jailed Wednesday, with bail set at $1 million.

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