Teen Was Trying to Return a BB Gun, Ended Up Dead

Off-duty security guard is charged with killing him after mistaking toy gun for the real thing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 12, 2024 3:00 AM CDT
Off-Duty Security Guard Kills Teen He Thought Had Gun: Prosecutors
A small memorial is seen outside a Big 5 Sporting Goods store after 17-year-old Hazrat Ali Rohani was shot and killed on Wednesday June, 5, 2024, in Renton, Wa.   (Jennifer Buchanan/The Seattle Times via AP)

An off-duty security guard has been charged with murder after authorities say he stopped three teens outside a store near Seattle because they had what he believed was a firearm, but it was actually an airsoft pistol. King County prosecutors charged Aaron Brown Myers on Monday with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Hazrat Ali Rohani outside a Big 5 Sporting Goods Store in Renton, Washington, the AP reports. Myers, 51, also faces a second-degree assault charge after authorities say he held another teen at gunpoint. What happened:

  • The three teens were headed into the store at about 7:30pm on June 5 to return a malfunctioning airsoft gun, two of them told police later. They walked in front of Myers, who later told police that he had just been on duty as "licensed" and "armed" security and was sitting in his vehicle waiting to pick up his son from a martial arts class. It's unclear where Myers works as a security guard.
  • Myers told police that he noticed one teen carrying what he believed was a Glock handgun, and thought he saw another teen put a firearm into his waistband. Thinking he needed to stop an armed robbery, Myers told police that he didn't have time to call 911, and instead got out of the car with his gun pointed at the teens. Myers said he had a "duty to intervene," prosecutors said.
  • As Myers approached, one of the teens moved to the side and the other two stopped, raised their hands and one placed the airsoft gun on the sidewalk, telling Myers numerous times that it was a "BB gun," not a firearm. Myers then pushed one of the boys on to the sidewalk and straddled him while holding the back of his jacket, according to the probable cause document filed by Renton police. Myers continued to point his firearm at Rohani as he held his hands out in front of him, showing Myers that they were empty, police said.
  • Rohani started to back away and turned slightly to the left and Myers opened fire, hitting the teen once in the right side and six times in the back. Video shows Rohani clutching his abdomen as he falls to the ground, calling out for his mother. The other teen ran for cover and called 911. Rohani died at the scene and police immediately took Myers into custody.

Myers, who allegedly also tried to intervene in what he thought was a crime (but which also turned out to involve an unarmed person) in March 2022, says through his lawyer that his "only intent that day was to protect himself and others from serious harm or death."

(More Washington state stories.)

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