Cold case solved? 2003 murder linked to gang member already in prison

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(File photo/KCPQ)

SEATTLE — Seattle police say they have linked the murder of a 23-year-old man to a known gang member who is already behind bars in a state prison.

Back in 2003, three masked men walked up to a van where two men were listening to music  outside of a New Holly apartment. Police say one of the men shot the victim, Boumma Khammanivong, in the head and chest.

At the time, detectives suspected known gang member San Saeyang of the crime, but they had difficulty getting witnesses to cooperate with the investigation.

Cold case homicide detective Mike Ciesynski reopened the case in September of 2013 after King County prosecutors flagged the case for review.

“There were a couple witnesses who said Saeyang had admitted to the shooting,” Ciesynski said. “I went and talked to every one of them, everyone who was in the suspect’s car, and then the suspect.”

Ciesynski went to the Monroe Correctional Center on May 16th to interview Saeyang.

The detective told Saeyang that he had spoken with witnesses who said he was responsible for the murder.

Police say Saeyang then confessed to the killing saying he didn’t mean to kill him, he was only trying to scare him. Saeyang then said he threw his gun out the window and drove away from the crime scene.

Saeyang will be in prison through 2018 for unrelated burglary and robbery charges. He could now face 29 to 38 more years in prison.

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