The King County Prosecutor charged 17-year-old Byron White with first degree murder with a firearm enhancement. He accused of shooting and killing David Peterson on February 23 in Seattle's Greenwood Neighborhood.
Prosecutors also charged White with attempted robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm.
White will be tried as an adult. State law allows for 16 and 17-year-olds to be tried as adults for serious violent offenses.
The sentence range for all three charges, including the firearm enhancement, is 27 to 35 years in prison.
Charging documents state the White initially demanded Peterson's cell phone but walked away after a brief struggle. However, White confronted the victim after Peterson tried to call 911 to report the robbery attempt.
White allegedly shot Peterson in the chest and took his cell phone. He tried to catch a flight to Atlanta, but was arrested at Sea-Tac Airport before he could board.
The prosecutor's charging papers say the suspect told his friends that the man had seen his face while he was trying to steal the phone so he "had to shoot him."
White is being held on $2 million bail because he's said to be a threat to public safety and is considered likely to flee. He will be in court at the Maleng Justice Center for arraignment on March 17.