Second-degree assault charge filed in girlfriend’s shooting

Man admits to shooting after hospital staff were told that the gun went off during cleaning.

EVERETT — A Snohomish man who admitted to shooting his girlfriend last month has been charged with second-degree domestic violence assault.

Detectives say evidence disputes Darian Holt’s claims that he accidentally shot the woman while she was standing above him when he was lying on a couch. The Aug. 21 shooting happened in an apartment on Avenue E.

The woman was shot in the shoulder, breaking her scapula. “It is unclear at this time if the wound will result in a permanent mobility loss, but she is currently unable to raise her arm above shoulder height,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Michael Boska wrote in charging papers.

Holt, 20, and the woman initially told hospital staff that the shooting happened while Holt was cleaning his gun, a .45-caliber pistol. Detectives confronted both of them, asking the couple to walk investigators through how the gun went off.

The woman eventually told police that the pair had been arguing. Holt reportedly said, “God, I could just shoot you in the face,” according to court records.

He allegedly removed his handgun, pointed the gun at the woman and pulled the trigger. She told police Holt seemed surprised when the gun went off.

Detectives have turned up evidence that suggests Holt has previously assaulted the woman, including pointing a gun at her as a form of intimidation, according to court papers.

Holt spoke with investigators but changed his story about where the couple was in the room at the time of the shooting or what was being said. A Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy handcuffed Holt, who allegedly struggled with police over his ringing cellphone.

Detectives searched the couple’s apartment, finding a handgun deep in the couch. It was loaded and the safety was off. “There was no indication noted that the weapon was in the process of being cleaned,” Boska wrote.

Police also located methamphetamine. A call Holt made from jail allegedly confirmed the drugs were his, Boska wrote. Detectives also learned that the couple’s own surveillance system may have captured the shooting. Footage may have been deleted but police continue to investigate options for retrieving it.

Holt doesn’t have any prior criminal convictions. He remains jailed on $250,000 bail.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;

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