A Tukwila teen was charged in the murder of an 18-year-old from Burien involving a dispute over gang-related graffiti.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on Jan. 6 filed second-degree murder charges against 17-year-old Ernesto Josue Rios-Andrade, also known as Joshua Rios, in the shooting death of Manuel Alejandro Ortiz Ornelas.
According to charging documents, at about 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 3, Rios-Andrade and two juvenile companions were walking around the Alturas @ Burien apartment complex, 1101 SW 139th St.
Around 5:45 p.m., Rios-Andrade, a self-admitted gang member, and his companions, confronted Ortiz Ornelas on the side of a food mart bordering the apartment complex, according to a probable cause statement.
“Rios got into some sort of argument with the male regarding gang graffiti, specifically this argument centered on the disrespect that was made by someone crossing out all or a portion of one gang’s graffiti ‘logo’ and replacing it with an another symbol…,” according to the statement. “During the argument, Rios pulled out his handgun and shot the male several times.”
Ortiz Ornelas, an admitted gang member known to police, died at the scene.
“Close friends and family members of Ortiz later told police that this argument over ‘graffiti disrespect’ had been taking place over a series of days,” the charging documents state. “It included back and forth phone calls and social media messages involving Ortiz.”
Ortiz Ornelas’ associates told police he was angry or upset about the graffiti.
After the shooting, Rios-Andrade and the two boys ran from the scene and were detained near by.
Rios-Andrade denied any involvement in the shooting, but his two companions identified him as the shooter, according to the probable cause statement.
One of the boys “told police he observed Rios throw away his pistol as they ran from the scene.”
According to charging documents, the gun has not been recovered.
Although Rios-Andrade is a juvenile, the case will be handled in adult court because he is charged with “a serious violent crime,” charging papers stated. He has no known prior convictions.
Rios-Andrade is being held at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent on $1 million bond. Arraignment is set for Jan. 23 at the Justice Center.