Kent man pleads not guilty to Panther Lake apartment shooting

A 30-year-old Kent man pleaded not guilty Nov. 18 to two counts of first-degree assault after he allegedly fired more than 30 shots that injured two men Sept. 30 at a Panther Lake apartment complex on the East Hill. Hassan K. McPherson entered his plea at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. McPherson is in custody at the county jail in Kent in lieu of $1 million bail.

Hassan K. McPherson

Hassan K. McPherson

A 30-year-old Kent man pleaded not guilty Nov. 18 to two counts of first-degree assault after he allegedly fired more than 30 shots that injured two men Sept. 30 at a Panther Lake apartment complex on the East Hill.

Hassan K. McPherson entered his plea at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. McPherson is in custody at the county jail in Kent in lieu of $1 million bail.

Defense attorney Peter Geisness said during an interview outside of the courtroom after the plea that he had no comment about the case because he had just recently taken on McPherson as a client.

McPherson is scheduled to return to court Dec. 1 when a trial date could be set or attorneys could ask for more time to prepare the case.

Kent Police arrested McPherson Nov. 4 for investigation of first-degree assault for reportedly shooting the two men.

McPherson allegedly fired 15 shots from a handgun into the arms, legs and lower torso of one man and shot five shots into the lower torso and legs of the other man, according to charging papers.

The men, a 38-year-old Renton man and a 37-year-old resident of the Country Squire Apartments, 10835 S.E. 200th St., have since recovered from their injuries, according to police.

“The defendant poses an extreme danger to the community,” wrote prosecutor Donald Raz in the charging papers. “Two unarmed men almost died from handgun wounds inflicted by the defendant and/or his accomplice. The shooting occurred just outside a heavily populated apartment building.

“Bullets were shot through the victim into an apartment wall on the other side of which three children slept.”

The children were not hit by the shots. McPherson told officers that another man reportedly fired the shots.

Detectives believe the alleged assaults stem from McPherson’s reaction to a series of complaints made against him by the men who were shot and other Country Squire residents regarding his behavior while a resident of the apartments.

The incident started at a neighborhood party. Several people, including McPherson and the two men who were shot, left the party at about 9 p.m. Sept. 30. They were seen walking to a nearby apartment building where one of the men lived. Moments later neighbors reported hearing sounds of a disturbance followed by gunshots. Numerous calls were made to police.

Kent officers arrived within minutes and found two men seriously injured with multiple gunshot wounds. Police found one man lying inside an apartment and the other man lying outside an apartment stairwell. The men were transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

McPherson was located at his nearby apartment a short time later. He initially denied any involvement in the incident, noting that he was inside his residence when the assaults occurred. However, during subsequent interviews he provided several conflicting accounts as to his knowledge and involvement in the incident.

McPherson told police he did not shoot either man.

Both men who were shot reportedly identified McPherson as the man who fired at them.


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