An incoming high school senior has been charged for murder after investigators allegedly saw a Snapchat video he posted at the crime scene where he shot a man who was selling him marijuana.
William Underwood, 17, was arrested on August 8 in Harris County, Fla. for fatally shooing Ryan Bates. According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, Underwood confessed to killing Bates during a drug transaction.
Patrol units responded to a call about the incident last month, on July 16.
“An adult male was found shot in the front seat of a vehicle. The male was transported to North Cypress Hospital where he was pronounced deceased,” a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Witnesses on scene advised the victim was shot by an unknown male who was seated in the car with the victim.”
While the sheriff’s department did not provide additional details, the Houston Chronicle reported that detectives identified Underwood through his Snapchat account.
“A witness provided investigators with video footage from the day of the shooting that reportedly showed Underwood driving by the crime scene with law enforcement in the background,” prosecutors told the Houston Chronicle. "The officer's county vehicle was visible in the video as he passes by.”
After the 17-year-old was taken into custody on a warrant, Underwood told investigators he shot Bates because he thought he would “rob him when he pulled out his money,” as reported by the Houston paper.
“Underwood said he saw a Taser in the cup holder and thought Bates would reach for it. He said he grabbed the Taser and shocked Bates several times. He then said he saw Bates grab a knife,” prosecutors said. “That's when he pulled a gun from his waistband and shot him three times.”
His attorney, Jed Silverman told the Houston Chronicle that his client is “extremely upset” about the situation.
"His family supports him and is behind him … and we look forward to receiving the evidence in this case,” Silverman said. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, but a prosecutor added to the Houston Chronicle that a second man also entered Bates’s vehicle — but he has not yet been identified.
Underwood — who was previously enrolled in a Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District high school — intended to complete his final year at Magnolia High School. However, a spokesperson for the Magnolia Independent School District tells Yahoo Lifestyle that while he had previously enrolled at the school, he is not currently enrolled as a student in the district.
Jed Silverman did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
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