MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say a 17-year-old German foreign exchange student who was shot to death in a Missoula garage was apparently looking for an alcoholic beverage when he wandered into a partially open garage and was killed after a homeowner sprayed the garage with shotgun blasts.
According to court records made public Monday, Diren Dede and Ecuadorian foreign exchange student Robby Pazmino were out walking in the neighborhood when Dede entered Markus Kaarma’s garage on April 27. Pazmino told police he thought Dede was looking for alcohol.
Kaarma and his wife said they had been burglarized twice in the three weeks before the shooting. Kaarma allegedly told a hairdresser several days prior that he was waiting up to kill the intruders, whom he referred to as “kids,” according to court documents.
Kaarma faces one count of deliberate homicide in Dede’s slaying.
Pazmino also informed police that they had learned about “garage hopping” or “garage shopping” from local friends and had participated with other friends three or four times in the past. But he denied taking any items from Kaarma’s garage, the affidavit stated.
Normally, he said, he and Dede opted to stay in the car while other local teenagers searched for alcohol inside people’s garages.
Kaarma told authorities he heard a metallic noise the night of the shooting, panicked and opened fire into the darkened garage. Authorities say he fired blindly, “sweeping the interior of the garage to the left with a total of four rounds.”
Dede was hit twice, once in the arm and once in the head.
Missoula police detectives interviewed two teenagers following the shooting, who said they stole a black wallet with credit cards, an iPhone, a blue and pink wallet with credit cards, a marijuana grinder, a marijuana bong, and a jar of marijuana from Kaarma’s garage or unlocked cars. According to the affidavit, the 16-year-old and 18-year-old males denied any connection to Dede or Pazmino.