Sheriff: 17-year-old shot teens at play field because of the color of victim’s shorts

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EVERETT — New details have been released in the shooting of a 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old brother at an Everett play field, sheriff’s deputies say, as the suspected shooter allegedly shot the pair because of the color of one of the victim’s clothes.

The brother and sister were shot by the 17-year-old boy around 6:30 p.m. Thursday at a play field near Discovery Elementary School in the 11700 block of Meridian Avenue South, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said.

Police were called and emergency crews rushed the injured siblings to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, where the boy was listed in critical condition and the girl was in satisfactory condition.

A 17-year-old boy suspected in the shooting was arrested early Friday morning after a standoff with police. Emergency crews evaluated the boy for minor injuries likely stemming from a tear-gas-like irritant used to force him out of his house.

The teen suspect was booked into the county’s juvenile corrections facility on two charges of first-degree assault with a firearm, deputies said.

According to information released by the sheriff’s office, the teen suspect allegedly confessed to approaching the 17-year-old boy in the playground because he was wearing blue shorts — the color of the suspect’s rival gang — and because he was Hispanic.

Both the brother and sister allegedly ignored the suspect.

When the male victim refused to respond to the suspect's accusations of "repping blue," the suspect allegedly grew mad and shot the 17-year-old with a pistol. When the victim's sister yelled, the suspect allegedly shot her, too.

A custodian from Discovery Elementary was the first on the scene after hearing shots. He helped the victims until aid arrived.

Following the incident and subsequent standoff with the suspect, police discovered the Ruger .22 used in the shooting. Police later confirmed the gun was stolen in a case investigated by the Everett Police Department.

The sheriff's office is still investigating the shooting.

Voyager Middle School and Discovery Elementary sent this letter home to parents Friday:

Dear Parents,

You may have heard that there was a shooting incident last night in the area of Voyager Middle School and Discovery Elementary. We understand that one of the victims of this shooting is a student at Mariner High School and the other is a former student at Voyager. Both suffered injuries that we understand are not life threatening. The shooter was arrested this morning by deputies from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the circumstances of the incident. Although this tragic incident took place at a time when school was not in session, it has certainly been on our minds and on the minds of students today. We have done our best to make today as normal a school day as possible.

Please be assured that we will continue to do everything necessary to keep our campus safe. Thank you for your continued support.

This story will be updated with Q13 FOX News at 4 and 5 p.m.


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