Ethiopian man in Seattle attempted to kill ex-girlfriend; gun jammed


(Seattle PI) – A man accused of trying to kill his ex-girlfriend before shooting himself in the chest has been charged with attempted murder.

Samson H. Berhe

King County prosecutors contend Samson H. Berhe opened fire on the young woman last Thursday while she was driving home from work.

Berhe, a 26-year-old Amazon security guard, is alleged to have tried to execute the woman after shooting her. According to charging papers, the woman would likely have been killed if not for a chance gun jam and quick action on her part.

At 4:10 p.m. on Sept. 12, the woman – Berhe’s girlfriend of three years and one-time fiancée – was driving to pick up her daughter from day care when a rented SUV driven by Berhe pulled up next to her.

As they drove on South 134th Street in SeaTac, Berhe opened fire on the woman’s Toyota sedan, a King County detective said in charging papers. The woman crashed through a line of bushes and ran while Berhe pursued her in the SUV.

Berhe shot her from the SUV as she ran, then walked up to her where she lay bleeding, the detective continued.

“Your daughter won’t have a mom,” Berhe told her while holding a gun to her head, according to charging papers.

The woman heard Berhe working the pistol’s slide and sprang on him, punching him in the face before running away, the detective continued. She told police Berhe fired on her again as she ran.

Investigators contend Berhe’s gun jammed while he held it to the woman’s head. Several live bullets were found at the shooting scene, indicating Berhe ejected them from the pistol while attempt to make it fire.

Another woman in a nearby home let Berhe’s ex inside and sheltered her there as Berhe fled in her Toyota. He’s alleged to have crashed his rented SUV into a home while shooting at the woman.

As deputies responded to the SeaTac home, police received a report of an armed man at the Union Gospel Mission in Tukwila. A witness told police a man with a pistol – since identified as Behre – wandered into the woods near the South 128th Street church.

Officers formed a perimeter and found the woman’s Toyota parked in the mission’s parking lot. Deputies then spotted Berhe and watched as he shot himself in the chest twice.

Berhe and the woman were rushed separately to Harborview Medical Center. Both are expected to survive their wounds; Berhe has since been released to King County Jail.

Berhe has been charged with attempted first-degree murder as well as felony harassment. Prosecutors contend both were crimes of domestic violence.