Renton Police respond June 5 to a fatal shooting outside the Big 5 Sporting Goods store on South Grady Way. COURTESY PHOTO, Renton Police

Renton Police respond June 5 to a fatal shooting outside the Big 5 Sporting Goods store on South Grady Way. COURTESY PHOTO, Renton Police

Man charged in killing of Kent teen outside Renton sporting goods store

Off-duty security officer reportedly fired at least seven shots at Kent-Meridian High student

A 51-year-old Newcastle man faces a second-degree murder charge for the Renton shooting June 5 of Hazrat Ali Rohani, 17, a Kent-Meridian High School student.

Aaron Brown Myers also faces charges of second-degree assault and firearm enhancements with each charge, according to King Count Superior Court documents filed Monday, June 10.

Myers is accused of shooting Hazrat outside Big 5 Sporting Goods. The Renton Police Department arrested Myers at the scene in the 600 block of South Grady Way on the evening of June 5.

According to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, Hazrat, of Kent, died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The medical examiner’s office identified his death as a homicide.

Myers is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. June 24 in the GA Courtroom of the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He remains in the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle with bail set at $2 million.

“The defendant took it upon himself to conduct ‘overwatch’ in a Renton parking lot, despite the fact that he is not a member of law enforcement and thus has not been trained how to safely prevent crime,” wrote Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lauren M. Burke in charging documents. “The defendant observed three teenagers walking through the parking lot of a sporting goods store, one of whom had an airsoft gun in his pocket, and immediately assumed that the teenagers must be about to commit a violent robbery.

“Rather than calling 911 or waiting for any evidence at all that could confirm or deny his assumption, he claimed he had a ‘duty to intervene’ and did so.”

Burke wrote that Myers exited his vehicle, pointed his firearm at the three teenagers, and rapidly approached them. Despite the fact that he had no authority to do so and the teens had committed no crime, he commanded them to stop, drop their guns and get on the ground.

The teens complied, Burke wrote, putting their hands in the air and placing the airsoft pistol he’d seen on the ground, and telling him it was just a BB gun.

But Myers allegedly tackled one teen to the ground (which resulted in the assault charge) and pinned him to the ground while still holding his gun on the other two teens, according to court documents.

Hazrat had his hands in the air and was backing away, Burke wrote. As Hazrat turned from Myers, he reportedly fired at least seven rounds into the teen, striking him once in the side and least six times in the back.

According to court documents, Renton Police Department officers were dispatched at approximately 7:38 p.m. June 5 to a reported shooting outside of Big 5 Sporting Goods. Officers arrived and contacted Myers at the scene.

According to documents, in an interview with police, Myers advised he works as an armed security officer, and on June 5, brought his son to attend class at a jiu-jitsu and martial arts location. Myers, who was not on duty as a security officer, indicated to detectives in the interview that he conducted “overwatch” at the location as a result of having seen crimes occur in the parking lot in the past.

Surveillance footage showed Myers approaching the minors, including Hazrat, in front of the store with a handgun raised and aimed. According to documents, footage showed one of the teens setting a firearm, identified as a BB gun, on the sidewalk and extending his arms in front of himself with his hands open, showing he held nothing in his hands.

Footage showed Myers push the boy to the ground and straddle him, holding him with his left hand by the back of his jacket, and aiming his gun at Hazrat, according to documents. Footage showed Hazrat in view of the camera with his fingers extended, showing he held nothing in his hands. After Hazrat backed out of view of the camera, Myers fired his handgun multiple times.

Seconds after Myers fired shots, police arrived at the scene and detained him.

According to a social media post from the Renton Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office deputies conducting a training in the area heard the shooting and responded immediately, beginning lifesaving measures on Hazrat. Hazrat died at the scene.

“The video shows Hazrat with his left hand raised above his head and his right arm briefly lowers to his waist area,” documents stated. “Immediately after [Hazrat] is seen, on video, with his hand on the waist area it is clear that he has been shot because he abruptly jerks his body away from Myers and falls to the ground.”

According to documents, surveillance footage captured of the incident contradicted Myers’s statements in his interview with police.

As Myers sat in his vehicle, he saw three individuals walk in front of his parked vehicle, and saw what he believed as one of the boys being in possession of a firearm, Myers said to police, according to documents. Myers believed the three aimed to commit “armed robbery” at the location, and he felt he lacked the time to call 911, and that “he had a duty to act to stop the individuals from hurting someone innocent, and to protect his son who was in the location next door,” documents stated.

Myers said to police that he exited his vehicle with his gun aimed at the individuals, and the three turned after hearing Myers exit his vehicle. Myers said he provided commands to the three boys, telling them to drop their firearms and put their hands up. He saw the boy holding the firearm throw the gun to the side, according to documents. Myers stated to police he restrained the boy as he did not want him to grab the firearm, according to documents.

Myers said he continued to provide commands to the three boys to put their hands up, but they were not listening to his commands. Myers said he shot Hazrat after Hazrat reached into his waistband, stating he thought that Hazrat was going to kill him. In his interview with police, Myers stated the three boys never complied with his commands to put their hands up, according to documents.

In interviews with the two additional teens involved, the teens stated to detectives that the firearms were airsoft guns, with the three heading to Big 5 Sporting Goods to return and exchange an airsoft gun and receive assistance with a magazine issue. The teens stated to detectives they informed Myers numerous times that the firearms served as “BB guns” prior to the shooting.

According to court documents, Myers chose to intervene in another incident in March 2022. He mistakenly believed someone was armed and followed a person carrying a metal object that he believed to be a gun from one store, through another store and away from the second store. In that case, he called 911 and officers responded.

The officers determined the person Myers was following did not have a gun and posed no threat. Nobody was injured.

2nd student shooting

Hazrat was the second Kent-Meridian High student fatally shot last week. Kent Police continue to investigate the June 3 death of Cristopher Medina Zelaya, 18, also a Kent-Meridian student.

Christopher was fatally shot in the city of Kent’s Campus Park parking lot, which is next to the school campus. As of Monday afternoon, June 10, Kent Police have not made any arrests and have released few details about the incident.

Renton Reporter reporter Benjamin Leung contributed to this article.

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