File photo

File photo

Auburn woman, 31, accused of fatal stabbing in Shoreline

Charged with second-degree murder of 25-year-old woman

The King County Prosecuting Attorney on Tuesday filed a charge of second degree murder against an Auburn woman whom it accuses of having stabbed another woman to death in a Shoreline parking lot on Oct. 19.

The King County Sheriff’s Office has identified the suspect as Sharnika Armstead, 31.

According to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, the victim was Azhane Denise Mitchell, 25.

The arraignment, where a plea is entered, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 9 in room E1201A of the King County Courthouse in Seattle.

Here is what happened, according to the police report.

At 8:57 p.m. Oct. 19, King County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 caller who said she had just seen someone lying in a significant pool of blood in a Shoreline parking lot in the 3200 block of Aurora Avenue North.

When officers arrived, according to the account, they found a woman down on the lot with a stab wound to her chest. She was unresponsive. Although officers and medics tried to resuscitate her, she died at the scene.

According to the report, a fingerprint check later identified the victim as Mitchell.

According to the report, the woman who had called 911 told officers she had been driving past the parking lot a few minutes earlier when she saw several people outside of a white or silver sedan, talking to each other as if angry.

When she returned, the woman said, the car was gone and the victim was on the ground. Video surveillance captured what appeared to be a white Nissan leaving the parking lot about 10 minutes before the 911 call.

Detectives spoke to an acquaintance of Mitchell who said she had left a home in Auburn with “Sharnika” between about 6 or 7 p.m. Detectives later found a 2018 Nissan Sentra registered to Armstead, which matched the car from the surveillance video.

When police contacted Armstead on Oct. 20, she denied knowing anything about what had happened to Mitchell, so police released her, but impounded her car.

On Oct. 21, a witness familiar to police called to report that he had information about the crime. He later told detectives that Mitchell had been staying with him in Shoreline, but he had asked her to move out on Oct. 19.

The witness said Armstead agreed to drive Mitchell to Auburn, and he went along. Armstead then pulled over and told Mitchell to get out. The witness said Mitchell did not want to get out, so Armstead went around to the rear passenger seat and began punching her. They then left Mitchell in the lot.

The witness said that as he and Armstead drove away, Armstead said, “I stabbed the bitch.”

The witness described their subsequent efforts to dispose of evidence including the knife used to stab Mitchell. Detectives were able to confirm his account of their efforts and recovered the knife and other evidence items.

On Oct. 22, Armstead was seen in the back seat of an associate’s vehicle. The vehicle was stopped via traffic stop, and she was placed under arrest without incident.

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