Last week, a confrontation over gang colors led to two teens being shot in Everett. The Seattle Times reports that the 16-year old alleged shooter is being prosecuted as an adult. He is charged with two counts of first-degree assault.

The victims were a 17 year old boy and his 14 year old sister. They were reportedly on their way to dance practice for the girl’s Quinceañera when the incident occurred. Charges indicate the alleged shooter is affiliated with the “Bloods” gang. He allegedly shot the teen victims because the boy was wearing blue shorts, a rival gang’s color, though at this time there is no sign that the victim is gang affiliated. Reportedly, the shooter, along with three girls, approached the teen victims and confronted the boy about the color he was wearing. Witnesses recount that he then opened fire, reportedly unprovoked, shot the boy in the forearm, shoulder, and torso, and then shot his sister in her thigh when she came to his aid. The victims were taken to Harborview Medical Center and are reported to have since been released.

The alleged shooter was arrested in Everett after a standoff with the police. A .22-caliber handgun was recovered from his home. He reportedly admitted to his role in the shooting saying he had been in a “bad mood after getting into a fight with his girlfriend”

It is extremely fortunate that the victims are recovering, as this was an incident that could have easily turned fatal. Two young people could have lost their lives because they were wearing the “wrong color” and they now have to endure the emotional trauma of having been shot, in addition to what physical injuries they are left with.

The alleged offender, another teen, is being charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree assault, which is a class A felony. (RCW 9A.36.011) A felony conviction would change the course of his life forever. Class A felonies are punishable by lengthy periods of incarceration including up to life in prison, a fine of up to $50,000, or both a fine and prison time. In addition to the penalties, a felony conviction in Washington can cause irreparable damage to someone’s reputation and hamper future employment or other personal goals. See our prior blog posting about repercussions of felony convictions in Washington State.

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