EVERETT, Wash. – A sixteen-year-old Snohomish County boy could face manslaughter charges for his alleged role in the shooting death of a 17-year-old friend.
The shooting happened last Friday in Edmonds, and the suspect was arrested Monday and faced a judge Tuesday morning in Everett.
Court documents allege the suspect told detectives he was playing with a stolen handgun and mistakenly thought the gun wouldn’t fire.
Investigators say the suspect eluded police for days after his alleged role in the shooting death of 17-year-old Gala Zuehlke.
“So that was the initial report, was that it was an accidental shooting came out, but with details that came out later it’s in question now whether it was an accident or a reckless act with a handgun,” said Detective Sgt. Michael Richardson from the Edmonds Police Department.
Edmonds Police say the shooting happened inside an apartment complex Friday.
Court documents say the boy, Zuehlke and another female were inside when the suspect began playing with a revolver.
The suspect told police he stole the gun from another person’s parents.
After the two girls objected to the suspect playing with the firearm, court documents allege the boy pointed the revolver at Zuehlke and pulled the trigger, firing one bullet into her head.
“There was frantic chaos after the shooting,” said Richardson.
Investigators say the female friend ran home while the boy rode an Uber to another friend’s home in Bothell.
Court documents allege the suspect was arrested at the same home Monday afternoon. Investigators believe the suspect was likely trying to flee the area.
“Was then going to drive them down to Portland to get them down to the area,” said Richardson.
The suspect told police he left the firearm inside his friend’s Bothell apartment -- investigators say this entire situation could have been avoided had the stolen firearm been securely stored in the first place.
“Guns need to be locked up they need to have a trigger lock on them, they shouldn’t be accessible to children, they shouldn’t be accessible to people who can steal them,” said Richardson.
The suspect is being held in juvenile detention on $100,000 cash bail. He could be charged officially on Thursday.