Greenwood murder suspect waives first court appearance


by KING 5 News

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 7:41 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 3 at 4:33 PM

The 17-year-old suspect in the shooting death of a man in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood waived his first court appearance Monday.

The judge ordered Byron White, a senior at Ballard High School, to remain in juvenile detention pending the filing charges in the case. The deadline for the charging decision is March 5.

Police say they are confident that White will be charged as an adult.

White was getting ready to board a plane at SeaTac Airport Saturday, police said. He was taken into custody by the Port of Seattle police. Police say White is known to be a transient, living from place to place.

“I was shocked to hear how young he is,” said Susan Zielinski.

Zielinski thinks it is same person who robbed her bar right before the shooting last Sunday night. The local pub is just a few blocks from where David Peterson was killed.

"I was very happy, very relieved, good to get him off the street,” she said.

Friday afternoon, police executed a search warrant at a house on 4th Avenue NW in the Greenwood/Crown Hill neighborhood, not far from where the body of Peterson was found. 

Neighbors say they were stunned when the SWAT team showed up on their street.

"My daughter was like, mom, it's several SWAT people, you should see the guns, there are forensic guys with gloves," said Robin Weese.

One neighbor heard officers ordering anyone inside the home to come out and surrender to police.

"The police were on the megaphone, asking people to come out of the house," said Priya Pugh.  "It took awhile, but one guy came first, and then a girl came out."

Those two people were briefly taken into custody, but released once police were done searching the home.

Police sources say that after the murder, the suspect ran to a friend's house, the same house where police served the search warrant Friday.

Peterson had gone for his daily walk in Greenwood last Sunday night. Later that evening, police officers found Peterson dead from a single gunshot wound, after he called 911 to report he had been robbed.

There are no other suspects in the murder. The case remains an active and on-going investigation.