Kent Man Charged With Murdering a Seattle Father in Front of His Son

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A 28-year-old Kent man has been charged with second-degree murder, accused of fatally shooting a man inside his Central District apartment Sunday, then crashing his car while trying to evade Seattle police, according to King County prosecutors.

Deshaun Sanford, whom police had to extricate from his rolled Dodge Challenger, was also charged with second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, court records show. He remains jailed in lieu of $3 million bail. Court records do not yet indicate which attorney is representing him.

Killed was 36-year-old Michael Darden, shot inside his apartment in the 1400 block of 24th Avenue around 7:40 p.m. Sunday, according to the charging papers filed Thursday. He died at the scene.

Darden, his 14-year-old son, his son's mother and her boyfriend, identified by police as Sanford, were among those gathered in Darden's apartment. Witnesses later told police Sanford and his girlfriend got into an argument that became physical and Sanford pulled a gun and pointed it at several people, say the charges. Sanford struck the 14-year-old in the face with the gun and shot a round into the floor before the boy was able to push him out the door and lock it, according to the charges.

Soon after, the boy's mother let Sanford back into the apartment and Darden told him he needed to leave. Darden was forced to the floor with Sanford on top of him, the charges say. Darden's son tried to grab Sanford's arm to stop him from pointing the gun at his father, but Sanford fired a shot that struck Darden, according to prosecutors.

Several people called 911 to report the shooting and Seattle police officers saw a silver Dodge Challenger leaving the area. The charges say the driver ignored officers' attempts to pull the car over and drove recklessly before crashing into a couple of parked cars and knocking over a tree on 19th Avenue, south of East Cherry Street. Officers broke a window to get the driver out of the vehicle and saw a handgun inside, according to the charges. The driver was identified as Sanford and arrested.