EVERETT, Wash. -- The man who admitted to killing three teenagers at a Mukilteo house party last summer apologized to the victims and their family members on Thursday before he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Allen Ivanov, 20, admitted to the killings and asked for a plea deal that took the death penalty off the table.
Before a Snohomish County Superior Court judge sentenced Ivanov, the killer addressed the court and the victim’s family members at length. And he tried to offer an explanation.
“I waited outside that house for hours, my heart racing, I pulled the trigger because I couldn`t control my emotions,” Ivanov said, adding that he opened fire in a jealous rage over his ex-girlfriend Anna Bui, one of the three 19-year-olds he killed the night of July 30. “Anna visits me in my dreams and visits me all the time. I cannot explain how much I loved her and how I still and forever will."
Before Ivanov spoke, the court heard from many people affected.
The first person to speak was the homeowner of the house where the shootings occurred. The woman said her son held a party for his friends and when Ivanov opened fire, he left a trail of blood, shattered glass and 20 spent bullets. The homeowner said if her son had not tripped while running he would have been hit by one or more of the bullets.
Ivanov killed Anna Bui and friends Jordan Ebner and Jake Long and wounded Will Kramer, who was shot in the back and survived. Sixteen others ran for their lives. All, including Ivanov, were recent graduates of Kamiak High School.
Survivor Alex Levin said Jordan Ebner was his best friend and the last image of Jordan haunts him everyday.
“I looked down the hallway and I saw Jordan Ebner laying on the ground motionless with his eyes open,” Levin said.
In just 35 seconds, Ivanov changed so many lives.
Jordan’s father, Brad Ebner, told the court he`s disappointed Ivanov would not be getting the death penalty. And the father could barely talk as he was overcome by grief.
“He took my first boy, I will never get to see him getting married or have kids,” Ebner said as he broke down.
Jake Long`s mother, Autumn Snider, brought the cremated remains of her son to court. She said every minute has been painful since the shooting.
“It seeps down into my chest where my heart is squeezed to the point I am sure it’s going to explode,” Snider said.
For Anna Bui`s father, Hung Bui, the devastation was clearly evident.
“I think about it, I cry, I don`t know how to stop it, just hard,” Bui said through a translator.
Hung had a message for the public. He wants the tragedy to be a lesson for young people, that they should talk out their emotions and never resort to violence.
Anna’s cousin Phuong Bui also spoke in court, saying the tragedy has made her question humanity. She said one of the most painful moments was when she saw Anna’s father at the funeral.
“I turned to the side and watched her father, my uncle, kneeling beside her casket rendering, caressing her face, begging for his daughter to come back -- a person does not get over that,” Phuong Bui said.
Will Kramer’s dad, Paul, addressed the court, calling Ivanov a monster.
“Since the crime, he has written rap lyrics bragging about murdering his girlfriend,” Paul Kramer said. “He was raised as a spoiled brat, it appears he never heard no and a monster was created,” Kramer said.
Ivanov did apologize.
“I want to apologize wholeheartedly to all those whose lives I’ve taken, Anna, Jordan and Jake and all of you whose lives have been so darkened,” Ivanov said.
Ivanov also blamed access to guns for the shooting.
"It was the ease of buying a gun that enabled me to act out my emotions," Ivanov said of the AR-15 he used in the shooting.
Leaving court, Snider said Ivanov’s words gave her no comfort at all
“I feel like his apology was extremely insincere,” Snider said.