News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Felon Who Possessed Gun That Fired On Metro Bus Sentenced To Ninety-Two  Months In Prison

Woman Struck in Leg as Gun Fired While Defendant Hid it in Backpack

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2012

            A Seattle felon, 25-year-old DAVID DIETRICK was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ninety-two months in prison and three years of supervised release for illegally possessing a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.   The gun went off on a Metro bus in downtown Seattle last May, injuring a passenger.   At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman said, “What you did on that bus endangered everyone and makes society afraid.”

            According to records filed in the case, DIETRICK got into an argument with someone at 3rd and Pike, went home and grabbed his gun, and returned to downtown Seattle to settle the score.  DIETRICK, and his girlfriend, could not find the person he was fighting with.  As he removed the gun from his waistband and placed it in his backpack, the gun went off, hitting a woman on the bus in the leg.  Fortunately, she was not badly injured.  DIETRICK is prohibited from possessing firearms because of multiple criminal convictions including: Robbery, 2005, drug possession, 2005 and 2008, burglary, 2008 and theft and cocaine possession 2011.  Investigators determined the gun had been stolen from the City of Snohomish Police Department.

            Prosecutors asked that DIETRICK be sentenced to more than nine years in prison due to his dangerous conduct. DIETRICK “deliberately armed himself with a handgun after getting into a argument with an individual in downtown Seattle.  Indeed, Dietrick had returned to the scene of the confrontation but was unable to find the other individual.  One can only speculate as to the harm that Dietrick might have caused if he had in fact found this person and confronted him a second time..… the firearm in Dietrick’s possession went off in a Metro bus filled with passengers.  One woman was hit in the leg, but fortunately not seriously injured.  Even assuming the discharge was accidental, it only demonstrates the risk Dietrick presents to the public when armed with a firearm.  Dietrick, and the public, are lucky that this incident did not end far more tragically,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

            The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs.  Mr. Hobbs is a Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to handle firearms cases in federal court.

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