MUKILTEO — The parents of triple-murder suspect Allen Christopher Ivanov released a statement Wednesday, saying they had raised their son with love and taught him to respect other people.
Ivanov, 19, remains in the Snohomish County Jail, accused of gunning down three former Kamiak High School classmates Saturday. Prosecutors have charged him with aggravated murder — a crime that carries a potential death sentence.
Among those killed was Ivanov’s former girlfriend, Anna Bui. Ivanov, 19, allegedly told police he tracked Bui down to a house party and shot her because he was jealous and angry that she was seeing other guys. Ivanov said he broke up with Bui, 19, two months ago but was interested in getting back together with her.
He recently purchased a semiautomatic rifle, allegedly telling detectives that he saw the gun as a symbol of power.
Jake Long and Jordan Ebner, both 19, also were killed Saturday. Will Kramer, 18, was shot in the back. He was listed in satisfactory condition Wednesday and is expected to survive his injuries.
Ivanov’s attorneys, Tim Leary and Zachary Wagnild, released the following statement on behalf of their client’s parents:
“Words alone cannot describe the depth of anguish our family feels for the loss of Anna, Jake and Jordan. We pray for Will’s health. Our hearts ache to know that their parents and families are feeling so much pain; please know that we are thinking of you and wish we could ease your grief. We simply cannot imagine how all of us can heal from this catastrophe.
“We raised our son with love and we taught him to love life, to respect other people. Never in our worst nightmares did we think it would come to such tragedy for our family, our friends, our community.
“We pray to God for strength for us all.”
Court papers indicate that Dmitri and Anna Ivanov divorced last year. They listed Allen Ivanov as their only child.
Meanwhile, the parents of Ebner and Long took to social media to thank the community for its support and for holding them up as they grieve for their boys.
“There are not enough words to express our gratitude. The outpouring of support from family, friends, the community, and people we don’t know is truly a blessing. I wish I could hug each and everyone of you,” Ebner’s dad wrote on a donation site.
His son had been a student at Everett Community College.
Long had plans to enter Washington State University this fall after attending the University of South Florida his freshman year. Long’s memorial service is scheduled for Saturday in Lake Stevens, according to an obituary. The family asked attendees to bring stories and memories to share.
Bui’s classmates and professors at the University of Washington Bothell gathered Monday to remember her. Bui had just finished her freshman year at the UW, where she talked about pursuing a career in medicine.
Ivanov also was a student at UW Bothell. He was being held without bail.
In addition to three counts of aggravated murder, Ivanov was charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder and one-count of first-degree assault. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell also added an allegation that Bui’s murder was a domestic violence crime.
Prosecutors have until Aug. 19 to refile charges in Superior Court. If they continue to pursue aggravated murder charges, it will be up to the elected Prosecutor Mark Roe to decide whether to seek the death penalty. Gov. Jay Inslee imposed a moratorium on executions shortly after taking office.
The only other punishment for an aggravated murder conviction in Washington is life behind bars without the possibility of release.
Three other men are facing aggravated murder charges in Snohomish County. Roe declined to seek the death penalty for two of those defendants. The third, John Blaine Reed, has yet to be arraigned in connection with a double homicide in Oso. Defendants generally are allowed to submit mitigation materials in an effort to persuade the prosecutor not to seek their executions.
Cornell alleges that Ivanov committed premeditated murders that were aggravated because there was more than one victim, and the killings were part of a common plan or the result of a single act.
Detectives found evidence that Ivanov planned the killings, according to court papers. Two or three days before the attack, Ivanov allegedly sent text messages to someone in Kentucky mentioning a mass shooting.
Investigators also recovered tweets they believe Ivanov sent prior to the ambush. One referenced the manufacturer of his rifle: “What’s Ruger gonna think?”
He told police that he purchased the Ruger semiautomatic rifle about a week before the shootings.
He said he showed up at the party around 10 p.m Friday., parked across the street and watched. He allegedly crept up toward the house and saw Bui with another guy. He told police he returned to his car, read the instruction manual for the rifle, loaded the magazine and returned to the house.
The gunfire broke out just after midnight, according to police.
Ivanov allegedly first shot a male partygoer who came upon his hiding place. He told police he went inside the house, where he ambushed Bui, shooting her twice. He allegedly fired at another male running toward the house. Ivanov told police he went onto a balcony, where he fired down on two more people in the driveway, according to court papers. He climbed to the roof but realized his gun was empty. He returned to his car and drove off. He was arrested about two hours later near Chehalis.
“Ivanov stated that everything that went on tonight was about a girl,” Mukilteo detective John Ernst wrote in court papers.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.