Suspect claims self-defense in Bothell killing; bail at $1M

Two different stories, both involving heroin, have emerged about a killing in the Bothell area Friday afternoon.

Snohomish County Sheriff - Contributed art

Two different stories, both involving heroin, have emerged about a killing in the Bothell area Friday afternoon.

A Seattle man, 22, is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder. A judge set bail Monday at $1 million.

The suspect told investigators that he fired in self-defense while being robbed, according to court papers.

However, police say the victim, a 36-year-old man, was shot in the back. The shooting occurred outside the victim’s home along 198th Place SE, near Filbert Road.

The two men apparently were strangers who had a mutual friend. A woman who lives nearby said she had been buying heroin from the suspect in recent days. She said he was in the area that afternoon for another sale, and they used together before she went back inside.

However, someone at the victim’s house thought the suspect’s car was suspicious and called 911, according to his family and roommates. The victim reportedly went outside to tap on the window and warn the driver.

The victim’s mother called 911 to report the shooting just after 3 p.m. Friday. She said she heard her son yelling “no” and saw him running away from the suspect’s car when a gunshot rang out and he fell to the ground. She said her son was unarmed.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner has not released the man’s identity.

Ten minutes after the shooting, the suspect allegedly called one of the witnesses, saying the other man had hit him in the head with a gun and took his drugs as well as $1,000. He didn’t mention the shooting on that call.

The suspect is known to carry a 9mm handgun. Police allege that a 9mm casing was found near the body.

The suspect surrendered to detectives hours later in an arrangement made by his mother. A handgun was located in his trunk, according to the arrest report. He reportedly told detectives that he had never shot someone before that day. The man had no injuries, despite his claim that he was attacked.

“The guy had a gun at me,” he allegedly said. “It was either me or him. That’s why I killed him.”

Prosecutors have until Tuesday evening to file charges.

Reporter Caitlin Tompkins contributed to this story.

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