Arlington, WA – A high school senior was fatally shot early June 5 after he trespassed on private property and refused the homeowner’s requests to leave.
The incident occurred at about 4 a.m. on June 5 on 106th Avenue Northeast near River Meadows Park in Arlington, KCPQ reported.
Investigators said that the homeowner said he heard noises at his back door and found a “suspicious” shirtless man trying to get in.
The homeowner told police that he repeatedly asked the suspicious person – later identified as 19-year-old Todd Smith – to leave the property, KING reported.
He told police that he thought Smith was a burglar.
The homeowner said that Smith ignored his repeated requests to leave his property and continued to try to get inside his home, KING reported.
He said he warned the man at his back door that he was armed and that’s when Smith lunged at him.
The homeowner told police he opened fire on Smith in self-defense, KING reported.
Smith died as a result of his gunshot wounds.
Investigators said he was shot two times, KING reported.
Daniel Schweizer, a friend of Smith’s, said that he and some friends were at a party with Smith celebrating their upcoming high school graduation on Friday night, KCPQ reported.
They described Smith as having acted “disoriented” and said that at some point during the festivities, he wandered off.
“It still doesn’t feel real to me. It’s like it hasn’t registered in my head. I’ve cried all the tears that I’ve got. It still feels like I might see him again,” Smith’s friend, Conner Buffon, said.
Buffon, who said he was friends with Smith for 10 years, told KCPQ his friend was unarmed and disoriented in a neighborhood he didn’t know.
“He had told me and somebody else that he wanted to go for a run later,” Buffon said. “So we think that he did that and ended up getting lost.”
But whatever Smith may have been up to, his friends insisted that he wouldn’t have been a threat to anyone, KOMO reported.
“Everyone knows about Todd, and everyone knows he wasn’t a threat, and everyone knows he was a good kid, and that he did not deserve this,” Buffon said.
Classmates said Smith wasn’t a big kid, KING reported.
“He’s a 5-foot-6, maybe 140-pound kid. He wasn’t a threat at all,” friend Brandon Donahue said.
They also said that they thought the homeowner’s response to Smith’s intrusion was overkill, KING reported.
“If he was being defensive, then why did he need to shoot him twice?” friend Ashton Beidler asked. “Why did he need to put two bullets in my friend? One would’ve stopped him.”
Smith’s friends were also outraged by many peoples’ responses to the shooting, KCPQ reported.
“I see people saying, ‘that’s what he deserved,’” classmate Ashton Beidler said. “I can’t even explain how that makes me feel. It’s more than anger; it’s more than sadness. It’s literally unfair, because he was such a good kid.”
Smith would have graduated from Arlington High School on Thursday, KING reported.
Authorities have not released any information about what led up to the shooting, nor have they said whether they believed alcohol or drugs played a role in the incident.
Smith’s friends have called for charges against the homeowner who shot him, KCPQ reported.
But Washington state law permits a homeowner to use deadly force if they think their life is in danger, and thus far, no criminal charges have been brought against the homeowner who shot Smith.
Police said that the homeowner has cooperated with investigators and wasn’t facing arrest at this time, KING reported.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office asked Everett police to handle the investigation into the incident because Smith has a family member who is employed by the sheriff’s department, KCPQ reported.
Authorities said the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.