Man – accused of killing girlfriend in Kent – shot, injured during escape

King County jail guard shoots Herrin after he flees from Harborview Medical Center

A King County jail guard shot and injured on Wednesday Giovanni Herrin, the man accused of fatally shooting his 18-year-old girlfriend in Kent, after Herrin briefly escaped from custody at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Herrin, 19, of Federal Way, remained in satisfactory condition on Thursday at Harborview, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Herrin had been scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning in King County Superior Court at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. That arraignment has been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 10, because Herrin remains in the hospital.

Herrin was under guard at Harborview when he fled and ran out of the hospital doors at about 10:14 a.m. Wednesday, according to a Seattle Police Department website blotter report. Guards chased him but were unable to catch him as he ran through downtown streets. One guard shot Herrin at Eighth Avenue and Yesler Way, just blocks from Harborview. Guards took him back into custody and back to Harborview.

King County jail staff will conduct their own internal, administrative investigation into the incident, according to Seattle Police.

William Hayes, director of the county’s Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD), issued the following statement Thursday in response to a Kent Reporter email for details about the case, including why Herrin was initially taken to Harborview and how he ended up escaping:

“Regarding any specific information about the escape, I cannot provide detail as it is currently under investigations by the Seattle Police Department and DAJD is administratively reviewing the investigation,” Hayes said in an email. “These investigations are ongoing and at some point we will provide an explanation as to what occurred.”

King County prosecutors charged Herrin on June 22 with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Karyme Barreto-Sabalza, of Des Moines, once in the head and leaving her on a trail to die during the evening of June 16 at Salt Air Vista Park, 24615 26th Place S., on the West Hill.

Prosecutors listed robbery as a motive as Herrin reportedly fled the crime scene with Barreto-Sabalza’s car, purse and cellphone, according to court documents. Soon after the shooting, Herrin was seen at an ATM where the victim banked.

Kent Police arrested Herrin June 19 in Des Moines after a police pursuit from a house in South Seattle where detectives had tracked Herrin following the killing of Barreto-Sabalza.

Barreto-Sabalza told a friend on social media just weeks before she was shot that she feared for her life because of her relationship with Herrin.


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