Suspect charged in February downtown Seattle shooting

The suspect accused of shooting a man in the face in downtown Seattle has been charged with first-degree assault.

The King County prosecutor on Thursday charged 23-year-old Tashawn Sykes with first-degree assault, and his bail has been set at $400,000.

Prosecutors argued that Sykes "perceives threats to him everywhere," and will do whatever it takes to keep himself safe.

The shooting occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, near 3rd Avenue and Pike Street. Officers on patrol in the area heard the shots, and found a crowd of people running from some incident. They found a 48-year-old man on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to his face.

He was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

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According to court documents, the bullet entered the victim's skull just below his right eye and came out the back of his head near his neck. The victim has since been released from the hospital, and told police the bullet missed his brain, which kept him from being killed.

A witness told officers the victim and Sykes had gotten into an argument, court documents say, when the victim allegedly said something like, "Well, why don't you just kill me?" Sykes reportedly stepped back, took out his handgun and shot him in the head.

An investigation of surveillance video, evidence and witness accounts, officers reviewed body cam video and learned they had unknowingly walked past Sykes on their way to the sound of the gunshots. Detectives spoke with people detained at Seattle Police headquarters, who identified Sykes as the suspect.

Police eventually spoke with Sykes, and according to court documents, Sykes told them he expects everyone he sees to be carrying a gun on them. Sykes said the victim threatened to kill him, but could not articulate how or what threats the victim used, court documents say.

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Officers executed a search warrant on Sykes' apartment and recovered a Glock handgun, several loaded handgun magazines, drugs and paraphernalia, multiple cellphones and other evidence.

Sykes is scheduled for arraignment on May 16.