Teen suspect in deadly WA mall shooting charged with murder

The teenager suspected of a deadly shooting at Alderwood Mall on July 3 now faces murder and firearms charges.

Snohomish County Prosecutors have charged 16-year-old Samuel Gizaw as an adult with first-degree murder with a firearm, second-degree murder with a firearm, first-degree assault with a firearm and juvenile in possession of a firearm.

According to charging documents obtained by FOX 13 News, Gizaw had gotten into an argument with five other teenage boys around 6:04 p.m. One of the boys told police Gizaw had made a "disrespectful comment" about a deceased person who was once associated with him, reportedly during a group phone call one year ago.

That boy punched Gizaw in the face during this mall confrontation, so Gizaw pulled out a handgun and chased him and the others down, according to court docs.

None of the other teens attacked him or had any weapons.

Gizaw shot at the teen who punched him and missed, instead shooting and killing 13-year-old Jayda Woods-Johnson, who was not involved in the fight, according to court docs.

Court records say Jayda was walking through the mall with her 11-year-old friend when she was hit by a bullet and fell to the ground. Her friend stayed with her, and other people at the mall attempted CPR on her.

An autopsy showed Jayda was shot in the back near her right shoulder. The bullet went through her right lung and heart, and emerged from the upper left area of her chest.

Police responded within a minute of the shooting and took over CPR on Jayda, and she later died from her injuries at Providence Hospital. Alderwood Mall was locked down for an hour while police looked for the suspect.

Gizaw's parents later drove him, at his request, to the Mukilteo Police Department. They told detectives they had driven him and his friend to Alderwood Mall earlier in the day to see a movie. His father told detectives he did not know how his son had access to any weapons.

According to the Snohomish County Attorney's Office, Gizaw turned himself in again on Tuesday at around 6 p.m. after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

Prosecutors requested his bail be raised to $2 million after discovering images on social media of Gizaw posing with firearms prior to the shooting at the mall.

The gun used to kill Jayda has still not been located.

Detectives say they have seen posts on social media in which an uninvolved individual boasts that police will not find the firearm, indicating arrangements were made to dispose of the evidence.


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