SEATTLE — King County prosecutors Tuesday charged an 18-year-old North Seattle man with second-degree murder, accusing him of fatally shooting another man during a marijuana buy last month in a grocery store parking lot in Shoreline.
Aiman Alam was arrested Friday and remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail, jail and court records show. He is to be arraigned Jan. 24. Court records don’t yet indicate which attorney is representing him.
Alam is charged with murder in the Dec. 22 death of Scott Blaney, 55, who was shot from behind while seated in the driver’s seat of his car, which was in the parking lot of a Safeway store in the 17200 block of 15th Avenue Northeast, charging papers say.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor David Seaver wrote in charging documents that Alam shot “a near-complete stranger” in a busy parking lot while customers were going about their errands.
King County sheriff’s detectives said Blaney and his son grew or purchased marijuana from dispensaries, then packaged the pot in plastic sandwich bags “to sell to local kids whom they trusted,” the charges say.
On the evening of the fatal shooting, Blaney was dropping his son at a friend’s house when his son received a message from someone looking to buy pot and gave that person his father’s phone number to set up a meet location, according to the charges.
Video-surveillance footage showed Blaney arrived at the Safeway at 7:22 p.m. and two males walked to his car and got inside — one in the front passenger seat and the second in the back seat behind Blaney. A minute later, several people called 911 and reported hearing a gunshot, with one witness telling a dispatcher that a man was slumped over and not moving inside a vehicle, the charges say.
Inside Blaney’s car, detectives found a bag of marijuana, a .45-caliber bullet on a passenger seat and a .45-caliber shell casing in between the center console and front passenger seat, according to the charges.
An autopsy showed that Blaney was shot in the upper back, with the round exiting his chest. Based on the bullet’s trajectory, detectives believe the shooter was likely seated behind Blaney and fired around the left side of the driver’s seat or through the opening between the seat and headrest, the charges say.
Witnesses told responding officers that two males had walked away from Blaney’s car after the shot was heard and left in separate vehicles. One witness gave a detective the license plate number of one of the cars, which was registered to an address nearby.
The day after the shooting, detectives stopped that vehicle and identified the driver as Alam. They impounded the car and found various calibers of ammunition inside, including a .45-caliber bullet that was the same brand and style as those found in Blaney’s car, the charges say.
Investigators built their case against Alam with video-surveillance footage, phone records, and statements from members of Alam’s friend group, with one friend telling detectives Alam “seemingly disappeared” and hadn’t posted anything online since the night of the shooting, according to the charges. In charging papers, the friends are identified by their initials, indicating that they are juveniles, and they and Alam reportedly attend Shorewood High School.