MUKILTEO — Allen Ivanov has been writing rap lyrics from jail bragging about killing even as his lawyers attempt to persuade Snohomish County prosecutors not to seek the death penalty for the young Mukilteo man.
Ivanov, 20, penned a letter in October to a former Snohomish County jail inmate convicted of murder. The letter starts with “rap ideas.” The lyrics focus on guns and violence and what Ivanov calls the “murder game.” They appear to directly reference the July 30 mass shooting at a Mukilteo house party, where three people were killed and a fourth was injured.
Ivanov is charged with aggravated murder for the killings of Anna Bui, Jacob Long and Jordan Ebner, all 19. Will Kramer, then 18, was shot in the back but survived. Ivanov allegedly told detectives he was unhappy with Bui. The Kamiak High School graduates recently had broken up. Ivanov reportedly wanted to reconcile with Bui and was jealous she was getting on with her life. He is accused of hunting down Bui at the party, arming himself with a military-style rifle and opening fire inside and outside the home where about 20 young people had gathered.
Bui, a University of Washington Bothell student who hoped to become a nurse, was shot multiple times.
“I knew she knew who I was ’cause I saw her face right before I pulled the trigger,” Ivanov wrote in the lyrics he sent to Christopher Garcia-Gonzalez.
Ivanov and Garcia-Gonzalez shared a jail cell. A jury convicted Garcia-Gonzalez of murdering a piano teacher after answering the man’s online ad for a “hot male housekeeper.”
“Make something dope, send me a copy,” Ivanov wrote about the lyrics.
The Daily Herald obtained a copy of Ivanov’s jailhouse communication and other written materials through a public records request.
Among the materials released was a letter that Ivanov reportedly wrote just hours before the shootings. Ivanov tried to control his story even before pulling the trigger.
“You know what’s funny? The media is going to portray me as some unstable, overly emotional, crazy lunatic,” he allegedly wrote. “There’s nothing wrong (with) me or the way I think. There’s really nothing wrong with me: I have a roof over my head, access to food and resources, a loving family, an amazing job, etc. I’m selfish. That’s why I did this.”
He also might have been preparing for his own death.
“Is this the right thing to do? Of course (expletive) not. Never, ever, ever, ever in a trillion years. Taking lives is insane. This is like my early retirement. I’m giving up on solving things. I’m a loser. I quit,” Ivanov allegedly wrote.
The letter was recovered hours after the killings.
Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe is reviewing the investigation to determine whether he’ll seek the death penalty for Ivanov. The young man’s lawyers, Walter Peale and Karen Halverson, have been working to compile information about Ivanov to present to Roe in an effort to persuade him not to seek Ivanov’s execution. Roe is expected to announce his decision next month.
In Washington, the only other punishment for an aggravated murder conviction is life in prison without the possibility of release.
Ivanov’s writings likely will be taken into consideration because they show his possible state of mind before the shooting, as well as his thinking now as he awaits trial.
The October jailhouse letter was sent to Garcia-Gonzalez at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton. The return address is for Ivanov’s mother. It appears that Ivanov and Garcia-Gonzalez struck up a friendship in the weeks they were locked up together.
In September, Garcia-Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Adam Cornell secured the conviction. Cornell is working with Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul on Ivanov’s case.
Ivanov’s rap lyrics idealize violence. There is no hint of remorse. He wrote of his “AR” and a “30-clip.” Ivanov bought a Ruger brand AR-15-style rifle with two 30-round clips in the days before the shootings.
The lyrics are followed by a three-page letter to Garcia-Gonzalez. Most of the letter is spent reminiscing about their time in jail. Ivanov wrote that his mom added money to the inmate’s prison account and said their mothers were going to meet.
“I always keep you in my prayers too. Always thinking about you. Always laughing. I just read all the Bible verses you sent me,” Ivanov wrote.
Ivanov also inquired about prison, asking the other man what kind of food he gets and how often he gets outside.
“Yo if you write back, send me some bomb Mexican dishes. When I get out, I’ll bail you, and we’ll go feast,” Ivanov wrote.
The letter Ivanov wrote before the shootings is six pages long, single spaced. At least part of it reached Ivanov’s mother, who turned it over to police. About a third of the roughly 2,000-word document was devoted to personal farewell messages to more than 20 people, mostly family. Ivanov also offers “shout outs” to nearly 60 more. But the bulk of the letter focuses on Ivanov and his distress over the demise of his relationship with Bui.
The first page contains this message in bold letters nearly an inch high: “(Expletive) You”
Ivanov apparently wrote at least some of it July 29, describing how he’d “just left work to finish this” and then planned to make another stop at Cabela’s. Investigators know Ivanov purchased a second magazine for his rifle the afternoon before the shootings.
Ivanov wrote at length about buying the gun.
“Now wait a minute. Let’s talk about how easy it is to buy guns. I was shocked. I didn’t even have the intention of buying one. They were salesmen, who persuaded me into buying one. I mean I never even shot a gun before. I never went on a range, I never took classes. I just walked out with a Ruger AR-556 and some ammo. It was an impulsive purchase, meaning I didn’t think about it,” Ivanov allegedly wrote.
Other documents show that’s not the whole story.
The records request included more than 390 pages of text messages between Ivanov and one of his friends. They suggest Ivanov didn’t buy the rifle on impulse.
He first started talking about shooting Bui on July 22. Within hours, he was sending his friend links to information about military-style weapons available at gun stores in Lynnwood and Marysville.
Ivanov’s friend repeatedly pleaded with him to stop talking about hurting people, to get some help and to not obtain a firearm.
Instead, Ivanov purchased the rifle the morning of July 24. He sent his friend a message with a photograph of the box containing the weapon.
The friend told Ivanov he was disappointed. Later that day, they had this exchange.
Ivanov: “can’t believe I bought this gun just to get back at someone.”
Friend: “Yeah me neither.”
Ivanov: “cant believe I bought this to shoot a (expletive).”
When the friend asked Ivanov whether that was really his intent, he replied “time will tell.”
The friend urged Ivanov to get rid of the gun, that he was acting irrationally. “I feel like im talking to a future serial killer,” he wrote.
“I’m just stuntin (sic) nothing will happen,” Ivanov replied.
In the days that followed, Ivanov continued to make threats about Bui and others. The friend repeatedly urged him to stop. Ivanov kept vacillating on whether he was serious. Just hours before the shootings, he told the friend that he was committed, but not for a couple of weeks. He needed to take a firearms-training class. Then he wrote back about being in pain.
“im gonna do it,” Ivanov wrote.
His friend told him to “man the (expletive) up and take the pain,” that everyone “who has broken up with a girl has been through this. She has done nothing wrong bro. She doesn’t deserve to die.”
Ivanov responded that he was “killing everyone at a huge party.” When his friend said he wouldn’t let Ivanov do that, the defendant told him never to message him again.
“I dont know why you expect me to support murder,” the friend wrote.
Ivanov: “don’t supporting nothing”
Friend: “I don’t want you to die”
“Taking a break,” Ivanov replied. “Stay in your own lane.”
About three hours later, Ivanov sent his friend a text apologizing. Just before 10:30, he followed up with a final message:
“I’m 2 minutes from shooting,” he wrote.
If the police have it correct, Ivanov then loaded his rifle and snuck up outside the party to listen. The gunfire began about two hours later.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.