EVERETT, Wash. -- Police arrested a 13-year-old boy accused of shooting and killing another teenager Wednesday afternoon in Everett. He's charged with second-degree murder.
Because the suspect is a minor, Q13 News is not naming him at this time.
Everett Police say he's among their youngest murder suspects ever. Police say the gun used in the crime is believed to have come from a kid that's even younger.
"It’s believed the gun was borrowed or taken from a 12-year-old," said Officer Aaron Snell. "So we have to do an investigation into that in and of itself. But at times these guns are passed around to various kids without the parents even knowing or having knowledge of it."
Police said that just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a resident at Walden Pond Apartments in the 9900 block of 12th Avenue West called 911 to report hearing a gunshot. Officers found “a juvenile male” who had been shot outside the breezeway of an apartment building near building C. The 14 year-old was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett where he later died.
During the course of the investigation, detectives spoke with witnesses and believed the 14-year-old had an altercation with the 13-year-old suspect earlier in the day. According to Snohomish County court documents it involved a dispute about "blue shoes".
About an hour later, the two ran into each other at Walden Pond Apartments, where the 13-year-old fired one shot from a pistol. Court documents say suspect say the single and fatal shot was the only time he'd ever fired a gun.
Just before 10 p.m., a citizen called 911 to report seeing a teen believed to be the shooter at a bus stop on West Casino Road. Police contacted him and took him into custody by law enforcement without incident.
During the interview, police said, the 13-year-old suspect admitted to shooting the victim and led detectives to where he hid the gun which was recovered as evidence.
The shooting is believed to be gang-related and the gun is believed to have been borrowed from a 12-year-old.
Law enforcement authorities with both Everett Police and Snohomish County Sheriff's Office say gang activity is on the rise in the south part of the county. While it's hard to determine how much is actual gang activity and how much is "wanna-be" gang members committing crimes, many times it poses a challenge since incidents can span several police jurisdictions.
"I believe since 2015, we’ve seen about 60 gang-related incidents in the south county area," says Sheri Ireton with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office. "It’s concerning because we’re looking at suspects and victims who are in their teens. Sometimes as young as 13 years old."
Law enforcement and community groups say they're investing both time and money in stopping the cycle of violent gang activity. They're using outreach and after-school programs to keep kids from getting involved with gangs in the first place. While the majority of the programs are aimed towards middle school students, some of the focus is starting to shift to kids in their later years in elementary school.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine cause and manner of death and release the victim's name.