Man accused of firing shots at Auburn residence

A suspect told police he fired the shots into a north Auburn duplex July 5 because he’d heard that the resident inside at the time had been beating on his wife. And, he said, according to police, he’d fired harmless warning shots into the air, a claim apparently belied by the bullet police say had passed through the living room wall and out through the adjoining garage.

On July 8, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Arturo Sanchezllanes-Zarate, 31, with a single count of second-degree assault. He is in King County Jail on $75,000 bail.

Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Phillips told the judge at the bail-and-conditions-of-release hearing that the suspect told police he’d done it in anger.

“While the defendant does not have any prior convictions known to the state,” Phillips said. “The defendant’s conduct in this case was extremely dangerous and brazen. The defendant fired 5 to 6 shots at a residence in a busy residential area. Several neighbors were outside and witnessed the event.”

Here is what happened, according to the account in the Auburn Police Department’s Certification of Determination of Probable Cause.

Offers arrived at the duplex at 24th St. NE and M St. NE at 6:22 p.m. July 5 in response to a report of an illegal discharge. But when offers spoke with the resident, he said that a man he didn’t know had shot at his home and then ran off.

According to the police account, the victim told officers he had been sitting outside near his open front door when a man walked up, started looking at him and asked him a question about a girl.

According to the police account, the victim answered that he had no idea what the man was talking about, whereupon the man raised his shirt to show a handgun. At that point, according to the police account, the victim drew his own handgun from his holster before the other could draw his and closed the front door.

As the door closed, according to the police account, the victim watched the guy run around the side of the duplex and fire several shots at it.

According to the account, officers later confirmed that a bullet had penetrated the victim’s living room wall six to seven feet off the floor and exited through his garage.

The victim told police he’d been lucky because he’d been only one home at the time, but a neighbor and the neighbor’s three kids directly to the north had been home.

While police were speaking with the victim, according to the police account, the alleged shooter came back, but ran off when he saw police. According to the police account, he returned 10 minutes later and was positively identified by the victim.

According to the police account, Sanchezllanes-Zarate said he’d heard some guy had been beating on his wife, and that he hadn’t shot at the victim, but that the victim had shot at hom. He denied having a gun.

Officers later found a handgun hidden under a frisbee in a nearby backyard, a weapon that the owner of that property denied was his. Confronted with the gun, Sanchezllanes-Zarate allegedly admitted that it was his, adding that he’d only fired in the air to scare the man he suspected of beating his wife. He told police he’d only recently obtained the the gun, but offered up only fuzzy details as to how or who from, according to documents.